According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network 97 percent of rapists will never spend a day in jail and 60 percent of sexual assaults are not reported to the police. A rape in the United States occurs about every two minutes. In 2012, more than 346,000 women were raped, about 17,000 of these cases resulting in pregnancy.
Thankfully, sexual assault has decreased by more than 50 percent since 1993, though it is still very prevalent today. Rape and sexual assault can affect anyone in one way or another, and celebrities are no exception. According to recent reports, Shia Labeouf, once the star of the Transformers franchise, was allegedly raped ten months ago by a woman while participating a “performance art” experiment at an art gallery in Los Angeles. In an article written by Piers Morgan, Labeouf sat in a private room at the gallery for five days with a paper bag over his head depicting the words “I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE” and wearing a tuxedo. The design of this experiment was aimed to be a very public self-flagellating mea culpa to atone for Labeouf’s exposure as a serial plagiarist.
Members of the public were met in a separate side room and allowed to take a variety of objects into their meeting with the celebrity: a whip, a pair of pliers, Transformers toys, Hershey’s Kisses candies, and a bowl of notes containing hateful Twitter comments about Labeouf. Most of the public were kind to Labeouf; others, however, were not. In an interview, Labeouf detailed a woman coming in on Valentine’s Day and whipped him, then proceeded to strip and rape him while he said and did nothing to stop the alleged attack.
Morgan’s article goes on to describe Labeouf’s encounter with his girlfriend after being raped and his own interview with an artist who collaborated with Labeouf on the experiment via Twitter. With their stories not matching up very much and the fact that neither is very plausible, it’s hard to believe Labeouf was raped during this experiment by a stranger while his girlfriend stood just outside the door and heard, at least partially, what had happened.
Though not as recent as Labeouf’s allegations, but still extremely relevant, are the cases surrounding former The Cosby Show actor Bill Cosby. One of the first known allegations against Cosby was in January 2004. Andrea Constand, director of operations for Temple University’s women’s basketball team, stated Cosby gave her “herbal” pills to ease her anxiety, then proceeded to inappropriately touch her. The following year, Tamara Green, a California lawyer, appeared on the Today show and alleged that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in the 1970s. Since this appearance, 19 women have publicly accused Cosby of assaulting them, the first having occurred in 1967; the last-to the media’s knowledge-was back in 2004 with Constand.
Rape and sexual assault have been prevalent in our world for longer than we may realize, and the media has only worsened it by creating false stories and allegations; incorrectly feeding the world with information that isn’t true.
Image courtesy of: youtube.com (fair use)