The World Health Organization and the CDC say that violence against women is an epidemic and a public health emergency.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (and every other reputable statistics gathering entity) says that 1 in 6 women will be raped or have raped attempted.

Former President Jimmy Carter, who has spent his retirement in philanthropy across the world says that mistreatment of women, both here in the US and around the globe is the biggest human rights abuse that we face. He left a 70 year affiliation with the Southern Baptist Church because of their stance on women and women’s rights.

One half of women murdered in the US will be killed by current or former intimate partners.

The number of American troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 was 6,488. The number of American women who were murdered by current or ex male partners during that time was 11,766. That’s nearly double the amount of casualties lost during war.

Women are much more likely to be victims of intimate partner violence with 85 percent of domestic abuse victims being women and 15 percent men

The people who work in government agencies are not political, except for at the very highest levels. To say that this research is done by “liberal arts students” is disingenuous and simply serves for you to not have to deal with things you don’t want to. Why is that, exactly? What gets triggered for you when you are faced with the fact that rape and abuse of women is such a prevelant part of our society and our world? Something gets poked at there, because you then go from a reasonable person to an irrational one who makes wild blanket statements.

The fact that nearly every single woman you know who is over the age of about 30 has had multiple experiences with rape, assault, abuse, harassment, groping in public, being pressured to do sexual things she doesn’t want to do, etc. is not an exaggeration. And you know what, you can test that theory by asking all of the women you know. Start with your mother and grandmother. If I’m so hysterical and full of lies, than you have nothing to lose by doing so.

None of that means that all men are rapists or abusers, but it does mean that nearly all women have been victimized and a lot of men have been also — mostly also by men. The two are not mutually self-cancelling and it’s simply a deflection to say that they are. In the first 24 hours of #MeToo going viral over 12 million people came forward on Facebook alone to talk about their experiences. Some of those people were men. I had a really poignant conversation with a young acquaintance of mine when he got up the nerve to talk about his assualt. I listened and supported him and thanked him for his courage and even though I barely knew him, he ended the conversation by telling me that he loved me.

Instead of reflexively disbelieving anything that doesn’t meet your preconceived notions, why don’t undertake some scientific inquiry and expose yourself to some new viewpoints? Because you have shown me no substantive reason to disbelieve all of the government based statistics I’ve shown you other than weird conspiracy theories about liberals, who have apparently infiltrated the deepest levels of scientific and statistical departments and replaced qualified people with “liberal arts students.”

Believe me, it’s fucking horrible to live in a world where such a large percentage of people suffer rape and abuse. The recent Catholic church scandal was just a sickening reminder of how deep and vast this issue is. But it’s not about you! You are not being accused of anything. You can either be a part of the problem or a part of the solution on this topic. Right now, you are behaving like a part of the problem, which is why I brought up your daughter in the first place, trying to appeal to your better nature. Something about facing the realities of this scares you because you go entirely off the rails when confronted with it. Deal with that fear and you can become a part of the solution. Self-defense classes do nothing in the face of pervasive societal systems that shame victims, fail to punish flagrant perpetrators, turn a blind eye, etc. etc.

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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