I am surrounded by images of girls and women being raped, beaten, abused, sold, and purchased. These images are in the daily news, in the movies, in books, and in my memories. As much as I try to push these silent and gruesome films to the basest parts of my mind, the public spaces of my life resurface them. They live inside me and outside of me. They wrap themselves around me like sharp and bloodied claws that pierce my skin, mining towards my fortified insides. They are everywhere.
A fifteen-year-old girl in the suburbs of Florida is invited by a school friend to spend the weekend cleaning houses for money. The school friend brings her father to meet the fifteen-year-old’s mom and talks her into letting her daughter work with this man she’s never met before. He is such a great faker, poser, liar, that the mother gives possession of her daughter to a complete stranger. And when this man gets the girl to his house, he drugs her, removes her clothing, ties her to a bed, and charges other men to climb on top of her and rape her, only minutes away from her own home. This fifteen-year old is gang-raped, beaten, drugged, sodomized, has various objects shoved into her vagina, and has guns and knives pressed against her temple to silence her for three whole days. And who finds her? The Cops? The FBI? No. Her own brother finds her at a gas station as the perpetrator tries to sneak her out of the state. And who helps her? The Doctors? The cops? No. No one helps her. It’s two years later and no one has been arrested. As a matter of fact, she sees the men that raped her at the beach, at the store, all around her neighborhood, and they smile at her as if they did nothing wrong – as if she was there to serve them – as if that was her only purpose in life.
In the suburbs of Detroit, another fifteen-year-old girl is invited on a date by a popular boy in school who rapes her and records it. For the next two years, he uses this tape to blackmail her. The rules of engagement include that she sneak out of her house after midnight, go to his house, and lie there as boys and men from her suburban neighborhood rape and beat her.
In 2001, another fifteen-year old from Massachusetts is tricked into running away from home and meeting a man she has met on the internet. The man and another woman take her to his home in Long Island and rape her for a week before “loaning” her to his friend in Queens, who rapes, beats her, and keeps her in a closet for a couple of days before he is caught.
Jan Van Der Sloot confesses on TV, on The Record with Greta Van Susteren, that he drugged and sold Natallee Holloway to a foreign gambler for ten thousand dollars, as if he has a right to sell her, as if he owns the rights to her body and life and can take money for the abuse and rape of this young girl. And although he reneges on this story later on, because it implicates his father, a judge, in extortion and bribery as well as aiding and abetting a criminal, I believe this part of his story because he and his friends are caught on tape trafficking women into the sex slave industry that continues to exist in this great age of gender evolution.
According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network), every 1 in 6 women are raped; every 2 minutes someone is being raped; 60% of sexual assaults are not reported; 73% know the rapist; and only 6% of rapists spend a day in jail.
Every day, in every country, in every part of the world girls as young as four, as young as seven, as young as fifteen, and even College-aged, are sexually assaulted. And in the United States, despite the fact that women were served the right to vote in 1920, the right to work alongside men, the right to have possession of their bodies, children, and lives – despite the feminist movement that called for individual freedoms and self-reliance, women and girls are still the victims of barbaric assaults perpetrated by men. Men still believe they have a right to a woman’s body – the right to own, use, discard, and sell another human being’s flesh – a woman’s flesh. They go to strip clubs and pay girls to dance for them; they call escort services and pay girls to sleep with them; they troll the streets of urban cities so they can rape, beat, have sex with, or get a blow job from hookers with STD’s and drug addictions.
In spite of the fact that a Google search for sex slavery (377,000), rapes (69,000,000) and sex trafficking (702,000) yields numbers in the millions, individual cases and stories by the millions, no one does anything save for small, powerless organizations that move grains of sands by the inch. But nothing changes. There is a high price tag on the female body and sex, as if anyone has a right to convert it into a commodity, an object for sale, but there is no price to be paid by the man who buys, sells, or destroys it. Women, girls, children — are not for sale. A woman, I am aware of the dangers that come with belonging to my gender, but I fear more for my children when they will no longer be attached to my hips and hands. And I cannot understand why some parents don’t.
This is still a man’s world — run by men and pillaged by men. And females continue to be their victims — writhing beneath the force of their brutality, handcuffed by centuries of sexual oppression and enslavement.
Copyright© 2010 by Marina DelVecchio. All Rights Reserved.