With over 72,000 monthly searches on Google and over 30 million views on TikTok for related hashtags, the term "national rape day" has sparked a wave of concern and outrage. But the origins of this ominous "day" remain shrouded in mystery.
Who was the first to coin this term, and what was their motive? It's time to delve into the history of this disturbing phrase and uncover the truth behind its origins.
The abhorrent concept of "National Rape Day" began with a TikTok video created in April 2021 during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The video, purportedly made by a group of men, declared April 24th as the designated day for committing sexual assault, claiming that it was legal to do so.
While some sources suggest that discussions about this day originated on 4chan and then spread to TikTok, there is no consensus on who initiated this reprehensible trend.
In response to the heinous idea of National Rape Day, TikTok users flooded the platform with videos denouncing the day and providing safety warnings for women.
TikTok has taken a strong stance against such content, stating that they do not tolerate content that promotes non-consensual sexual acts, and will remove any violating content from their platform.
Despite claims that the day was a hoax, TikTok users continue to denounce sexual violence and stand up against anyone who promotes or participates in such a vile concept.
Despite its less-than-stellar reputation, especially among American lawmakers, TikTok has well-defined community guidelines that forbid such content from being distributed. They are written as follows.
Avoid posting or sharing any content that:
- Promotes physical harm, like assault or kidnapping.
- Endangers the safety of others, such as swatting.
- Exploits humans, including human smuggling, forced labor, sex trafficking, or prostitution.
- Encourages vandalism or property damage.
- Facilitates the poaching or illegal trading of wildlife.
- Promotes or facilitates the sale or purchase of unlawfully obtained or counterfeit goods.
- Provides instructions on criminal activities that result in harm to people, animals, or property.
Despite the absence of an original National Rape Day video and evidence supporting more acts of sexual violence on that day than any other, social media trends that promote violence against women are still prevalent.
For example, there was a recent viral TikTok trend where men posted videos describing their fantasies of murdering women on a date. These trends create fear and danger for women and survivors.
By joking about violence against women, perpetrators are trivializing the real and present danger that women and vulnerable people face. These TikTok videos are reminiscent of abusers' tactics to maintain power and control over their victims, and they trigger victims and survivors of sexual and physical violence.
Thus, these trends must be condemned, and perpetrators should be held accountable for their actions.
How to stop it (or at the very least, contain it)
Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month is in April, and it is a harsh reality that almost every woman in the world has either experienced or knows someone who has experienced sexual assault.
Despite the awareness raised during this month, women still live in fear due to the high prevalence of sexual assault. It is crucial that men understand their role in prevention, but social media trends such as National Rape Day and videos that joke about dating violence show that they still have a long way to go.
To prevent sexual assault, everyone must understand the severity of the issue, educate those who are unaware, and call out anyone who trivializes any form of gender-based violence.