According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), 68 percent of sexual assaults are not reported to the police, and 98 percent of rapist will never spend a day in jail.
The singer/songwriter Kesha Rose Serbert, formerly known as Ke$ha, accused her producer Lukasz Gottwald, also known as Dr. Luke, of sexual molestation in September 2014. About this time a year ago, Kesha was in court battling to leave her contract with Sony Music and with Dr. Luke. She accused him of sexual, physical, verbal and emotional abuse that put her life at risk. Dr. Luke denied the allegations and filed a counter suit for defamation and breach of contract.
It has been over a year since the lawsuit began, and nothing positive has happened for Kesha. During this year-long trial, Kesha is banned from making and selling music and working with any other artist/producers. She took the chance to report her assailant, a brave and challenging decision in itself, then she was not allowed to make any money or preserve her brand for the length of the lawsuit. Dr. Luke, the accused, was allowed to do whatever he wanted during the suit. He worked with other artist, preserved his reputation and made money this past year.
This speaks to the power of rape culture in today’s society. Rape culture is a culture that normalizes rape and sexual assault. Instead of immediately investigating on Kesha’s behalf, the courts have taken their sweet time in Kesha’s case, making Kesha seem like she is in the wrong for reporting Dr. Luke. Two judges were appointed to her case, yet neither seems to have made any real progress in the case. Because she reported the sexual assault, her livelihood and reputation as an artist were diminished while the accused has not lost a thing.
Even though the courts might not be on Kesha’s side, her fans definitely are. Many supporters who noticed the lack of response from the courts were infuriated and started their own media campaign, #FreedomForKesha. Many fans from all over the world use the social platform on Twitter to share their outrage about the situation.
“Kesha is the victim of rape and yet she’s being punished for it while her rapist walks free with no repercussions #FreedomForKesha,” one tweet read.
“Kesha is losing her career for publically accusing her rapist and people wonder why more victims of rape don’t speak up #FreedomForKesha,” another person tweeted.
Kesha’s case is a prime example of why other victims of sexual assault do not report their assailants. People are afraid that they will be punished if they speak up about rape. Her case is also relevant because she knew her assailant. RAINN stated that 4 out of 5 assaults are committed by someone the victim knows, and 47 percent of rapist are a friend or acquaintances.
Her rape case shows that, unfortunately, rape accusations are not taken seriously or as a pressing matter, and many rape victims are not seen as credible and truthful sources. Hopefully, as her case continues, she will be taken seriously, and she would give courage to all victims of sexual assault to speak against their accusers.