By Gabriel Zanetti
Violence against women has been the longest lasting epidemic in human history. Women have faced violence in many forms for centuries and it seems to be that this is accepted when it should not be. Looking at Natalie De La Cruz discussing the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI), Melissa Cutrona discussing the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN), and Jillian Spreckels discussing the criminalization of abortion I can demonstrate the ways in which violence towards women is mostly accepted by society even when mostly everyone considers it something that should be stopped.
Violence against women has been the longest lasting epidemic in human history.
The Sexual Violence Research Initiative is a global organization with the mission of ending violence against women and children. Their main goals center around acquiring evidence of crimes against women and promoting better protection and research policies to spread awareness of violence against women. The Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network has the main goal of limiting victims of rape, abuse, and more by improving laws and policies on these issues to ensure victims get justice. Both of these organizations while doing amazing work demonstrate the idea that violence against women is a reality that can only simply be made less frequent and when it does happen to ensure the victim gets justice. Both of these organizations place an emphasis on raising awareness and educating people on these issues which in a way feels as if there is a need to make people understand that violence against women is a bad thing. As well as the fact that it means that people are unaware of the reality of the vast amount of violence that occurs against women on a daily basis. Maybe this is in part due to a narrow view on what is “violence,” because violence can take many different forms not usual considered violence.
One of these is proliferated in part by our own government and that is the criminalization of abortion. With the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade abortion has been a pressing issue with the ability for a woman to get an abortion becoming increasingly difficult across the country. Abortion has therefore become a method a violence where the government uses it as a means of control over what women can do with their bodies. As well as being violence in a direct way by forcing women to give birth to children they will be unable to properly take care of which can cause major stress to them and the child but also because there are women being forced to give birth in situations where they could suffer health complications as severe as death. And even when abortion was more accessible it was still problematic because of the way society has criminalized abortion with women needing to be approved for an abortion by having to legitimize and provide “evidence” for why they should be allowed to get an abortion. This could lead them to situations where they must face the potential trauma they had undergone which caused them to want to terminate the pregnancy as well as creating an internalized stigma of their own abortion.
Overall, the issue of violence against women is widespread and varied in how it is done. With a major reason for this being the acceptance and potential ignorance of people when it comes to this issue. This is not helped by the ways in which the government has criminalized abortion which has repercussions for women in terms of producing various forms of violence against women that are normalized and accepted.