In addition we have created this kind of culture of silence, which gives violence even more power. Most women do not report violence, because they are being degraded by their abuser and as mentioned earlier, they are blamed for getting abused.
What is more, it seems that many men do not or do not want to understand what is consent. Using phrases such as: ,,boys will be boys’’ or ,,she was asking for it’’ is a way for perpetrators to excuse their crimes and in no way is this acceptable! Yes is yes and everything else is rape!
Is there anything we can do to help the situation? -Yes, there is! Firstly, we have to listen to the victims - it can be extremely difficult to break the cycle of abuse and talk about it. Catcalling, sexist jokes etc are never okay, we should call it out when we witness it.
In addition, we should encourage others to stop victim blaming and to stop normalizing that it is on women to avoid dangerous situations and not on men to create them in the first place.
Furthermore, young boys do what they see men do and that is why we have to teach our younger generations about consent, respect and even challenging their abusive peers. Not by getting into a fight, but if for example in a group of guys, somebody makes an inappropriate comment, instead of laughing or pretending not to hear it, we should encourage them to speak up and say that this kind of talk is unacceptable. If we create that kind of peer pressure, where abusive behaviour is being addressed by others and seen as a wrong thing to do, we would most likely see a great diminution of violence against women and girls.
In conclusion, violence against women and girls remains a problem, unless we stop being by-standers, call out victim blaming and start educating ourselves on this matter.
Estonian volunteer in the Mediart Project in Praxis organization .