What is Rape Culture at BHS?
When BHS students speak of the "rape culture" at BHS, what do you think they mean?
responses to the above question in a PTSA survey Follow
Normalization of low-level harassment actions and lack of consequences for perpetrators of more serious harassment and harm.
A feeling of entitlement to getting sexual favors. Pursuing sex with someone without having clear mutuality. The use of alcohol and drugs blurring the other person and what they want.
The silencing of victims and the acceptance of sexual misconduct by the institution
That BHS as an institution looks the other way when students are sexually harassed/harmed/raped and does not help students most in need of protection.
Explicit sexual language and conversation. Callous and flippant sexual conversation is used to degrade someone, and ruin their “reputation”. Sexually explicit language and action are used as a weapon to intimidate or frighten. Sexually explicit language and action are used as humor.
Unwanted touching - brushing against or grabbing someone in passing, cornering someone with threat of or actual touching. Use of social media to do the same.
A victim’s inability to, and fear of voicing violations against themselves in the moment and/or later.
Lack of immediate action available to the victim. Lack of power of the victim to immediately stop or call out the abuse/attack (whether verbal or physical). The shock of being touched or grabbed is paralyzing. To be able to immediately and loudly voice it/call it out would be empowering. And then immediately backed up and surrounded by supportive allies.
Lack of shame placed on the perpetrator. I do believe that in a strong and loving community there is also a social contract of expected behavior. And when that behavior has become negative and has injured a fellow community member, that perpetrator must be made to feel shame. Admittance of the wrong and reparations to the victim must be made. I realize this walks a fine line especially when we are talking about children. But all too often this rape culture behavior does not really fully get addressed and it just continues and continues. It is too easy to just say sorry and then keep going- on to the next victim. Victimizing as a pattern of behavior. The perpetrator just doesn’t get it. They just don’t understand the damage that they do for a lifetime to the victim.
Students are emboldened to sexually assault other students b/c they can get away with it without repercussions from BHS and sexist environment fostered by some teachers and coaches
Not sure but it implies that there are males who feel they have power over females and that they can get away with rape.
That there is an acceptance and expectation of objectifying and sexualizing young women and a value placed on coercive sexual behavior.
Feeling unsafe in a climate where sexual harm is minimized and where the admin doesn't support survivors.
That someone is glorifying and making rape sound ok
Culture of male students (esp athletes) trying to have sex with female students without consent, particularly under influence of alcohol and drugs
The culture that makes men think it is okay for them to abuse women and that "boys will be boys" and that it's just common and it just happens, you can't really stop it.
Victim shaming/blaming/retraumatizing; insufficient consequences for perpetrators
Sexual harassment that is normalized
Power dynamics around sexuality and especially girls being abused and the abuse going ignored or unreported because of a lack of consequences/fear of retaliation at BHS
Frequent verbal harassment, rape, sexual assault, a predatory faculty member, survivors of assault having to attend class with the perpetrator, the feeling that reporting harm is pointless or not helpful.
How a great number of students have experienced sexual harassment on this campus
Prior incidents not being fully addressed. Feeling unsafe or worried about their friends due to a lack of oversight at BHS
Sex without consent
A culture where sexual harm is downplayed
Where students are not educated about sexual harm and sexual misconduct and where teachers and administrators are neither sufficiently proactive about prevention nor appropriately reactive when problematic or harmful behaviors are reported.
Boy entitlement, lack of respect for a culture of consent
That nonconsensual sexual encounters and assaults are considered common place and is widely known to be associated with BHS
That there are high levels of sexual violence that is not being helped by BUSD
The attitude among some boys and at least one recently dismissed teacher, that girls are to be exploited, touched, harassed, insulted. Disturbing account made public before the pandemic, of a girl being sexually assaulted by another student at school. Judging by the walkout and protests, girls' experiences have been disregarded by staff.
Someone who has been sexually harassed or assaulted. My kid said that they were asked how many knew someone who has been sexually harassed or assaulted and every single person in the auditorium stood up. After that day, she said that BHS has a rape culture.
That some boys feel free to sexually assault/harass girls because there will likely be no repercussion
This is referring to the toxic and permissive nature of mostly macho male expression both on campus and at parties on the weekend. Acceptable misogyny
The school does not support victims of sexual harm. They lose reports and don’t believe victims and treat them like s**t. Abusers are totally let off and everyone just lets it happen. It’s totally normal for people to make rape jokes and teachers and admin hear and ignore it. There is so much commentary on who someone might “hit” or on people’s bodies in a gross objectifying way. When boys say gross things that makes girls uncomfortable nobody does s**t.