Rape is not a joke

Here’s some of the most disgusting comments left on an article about rape

Three weeks ago The Tab Belfast posted an article sharing the horrific news that a young woman had been raped in the University street area on 07/03/17. The serious sexual assault occurred during the early hours of the morning when the woman was walking alone, as many girls do after work or a night out. The fact that this happened right on the doorstep of Queen’s University – a place where many students usually feel safe, or live close to – is utterly terrifying.

Despite the seriousness of the assault, I was completely shocked and disgusted that some people thought it was acceptable to make light of the incident by making jokes with their friends in the comments of the article in question. Particularly, a lot of the comments seemed to be boys tagging their male friends and ‘jokingly’ insinuating that they were the ones who had committed the dreadful crime.

Not only are these comments promoting the stigma that rape isn’t a serious crime, but they are absolutely damaging and upsetting for victims who have been involved in the terrifying and life-changing ordeal that sexual assault is. The idea that there are still people out there who would think their friend was ‘cool’ for forcing sex on someone without consent is completely baffling. Therefore, I decided it was only fair to address the issue and shame the people who posted the comments. The names of the insensitive users unfortunately have been removed in order to protect their privacy, unlike sexual assault victims whose privacy is disregarded and violated.

Here are some of the worst comments:

Well ‘boys will be boys’ ey?


Because raping someone is the same as someone getting up to ‘old tricks’


Because raping someone is apparently fucking hilarious

These comments are clearly just a taste of how some people truly see rape, which is extremely worrying due to the fact that rape is on the rise in Northern Ireland. In 2016, it was reported that sex crimes in the country have increased by a frightening 61% in the last six years, with stranger rapes also doubling in the past year.

This really needs to change. Rape is not something to joke about, ever.

It is a horrific experience that will stay with the victim their whole life, potentially damaging their mental health and affecting future relationships. It has been found that sexual assault victims are likely to suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), depression and dissociation. Attempting to get over something as serious as rape is thought to be completely overwhelming, with some victims also turning to alcohol or drugs to cope in the aftermath. Therefore it’s safe to say that rape is not as humorous or light-hearted, as these ignorant twats have demonstrated.

It’s time to drop the ‘boys will be boys’ shit and in future actually have some care and consideration in the case of rape. It’s not alright for a man or woman to force themselves on someone, and it never will be. A boy touching a girl’s bum or boobs in a club without her consent is already taken lightly enough, despite how objectifying and humiliating it is.

I’m not going to let disgusting people continue to make light, and mock such a serious crime as rape.

Grow up and in future take a second thought before you post something that could potentially be upsetting or damaging for someone.

In an earlier edition of this article, a comment was included and said to be written by a group of girls. The comment was taken out of context and should not have been published, and has since been removed.

Queen's University Belfast