"It’s time to take a stand against rape and sexual violence. We can’t remain silent…"

“It’s time to take a stand against rape and sexual violence. We can’t remain silent anymore like the football coaches at Penn State.

Now if you want to know why it’s so hard for victims of rape and sexual assault to come forward with their stories, look no further than the thousands of Penn State students who violently rioted last night in support of Joe Paterno, the coach who stood by and allowed a rapist to continue his criminal acts. Or look at the public statements by Herman Cain and his legal team to the women who have accused him of sexual harassment: Cain and his team have had no qualms about pronouncing that the women must remain quiet, or else they’ll be subject to severe public scrutiny and legal action. When a female CNBC newscaster questioned Cain about the allegations of improper sexual conduct, SHE was the one booed by the television audience. Every day, our society publicly intimidates victims and frightens them from coming forward.

C’mon America, we can do better than this. Joe Paterno is not a victim and neither is Herman Cain. We all know who the real victims are, and they need our compassion now more than ever. Come to Zuccotti Park on Sunday at 3 PM to show your support for the victims in the Penn State case and to support rape and sexual assault victims everywhere.

Penn State is a national tragedy, but it’s also just the tip of the iceberg. Last month, Joe Peters, an Olympic gymnastics coach resigned after allegations emerged that he sexually abused over 12 female gymnasts. Ever heard of him? Didn’t think so.

Remember a few months ago when allegations surfaced that an 11-year-old girl was gang raped by 18 men and boys in East Texas? Many in her community blamed her for dressing provocatively and hanging out with older boys—even though she was the victim, and a child.

Rapes and sexual assaults have even taken place at Occupy Wall Street. In the words of Zoe Leverant, “The Occupy movement seems to still be in danger of continuing the leftist tradition of asking women to set their needs aside until the ‘important things that affect everyone’ have been resolved. Sexual assault affects everyone, and this is a great way to communicate that.”

We must end the culture that condones rape and sexual assault. We must make sure that people of all genders can live in a world where all sexual activity is based on consent, not on force and violence. We must take all complaints of sexual harassment, abuse, and assault seriously and never blame the victims for the crimes.”


Permanent Wave call for a rally of support on Sunday.

(note: I slightly edited this for more gender-neutral language, you’ll see the original if you click through.)

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