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No tolerance? Or: Lessons in being a woman

After the CDC released their report on rape, my local paper ran an oped titled “No tolerance for sexual violence.” Really? This is what news coverage of the past year has taught me as a young woman:

If I go missing, my job will be a factor in how vigorously the police search for me. Perhaps I will lose my identity and will only be known as an escort or prostitute.

If I go public about being raped, but my attacker is a famous, wealthy, influential man, I will be the one put on trial in the media.

If I press charges against my attacker, but he happens to be a member of the NYPD, I will not see justice.

If the man who attacked me runs for public office, and I come forward as a survivor of his harassment, I will be attacked and vilified in the media.

If I join the military, I will be more likely to be raped by an American soldier than killed in combat. If I try to seek justice as a member of the military, it will be completely up to the discretion of my commanding officer to take the case further. More likely, I will be transferred and will have no guarantee that my attacker will be kept away from my new unit. If I try to appeal that decision, a court will say that “judicial intrusion” is inappropriate in the military.