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“Bill Cosby is back in the headlines this week after
the Associated Pressmade public
a 2005 court deposition in which he admitted to obtaining drugs to give to a woman
in order to “have sex with,” or rape, her. It’s the first such admission
we’ve heard from the now-disgraced comedian amid the dozens of women who came forward
to publicly accuse Cosby of drugging and raping them on occasions that date back
to the 1960s.
But the news is also proof of another truism about
how our culture deals with women who say that they’ve been sexually assaulted.
Even after a few women stepped forward to bring Cosby’s
actions to light, it took two men to raise concern and then verify the stories of
nearly 40 female accusers. The first was comedian Hannibal Buress, whose November
stand-up set about the accusations
against Cosby went viral. The second was Cosby himself, whose lawyers fought bitterly
for months to keep the decade-old deposition from going public.
Every 107 seconds, a sexual assault takes place in
the United States. The vast majority of those assaults — 68% — are never reported
to police, according to the Rape, Abuse
and Incest National Network. Most of those assaults are committed by a friend or
acquaintance of the survivor, not some stranger popping out of the bushes and following
them home late at night.
It’s very rare for someone to lie about being raped.
In fact, according
to the Huffington Post, it’s more likely that someone will commit insurance
fraud than lie about being raped; most studies put false rape reports at about 7%.
Still, when close to 40 women came forward and accused one of Hollywood’s most beloved
stars of rape, they were met with skepticism. Cosby, on the other hand, was cheered
by fans and defended
by colleagues and family members.” Jamilah King, Mic.com