Discussing Sexual Assault

By Tiffany Yu/ Contributor

It’s 2015, and you’d think that with the progressive waves rolling in the United States we as a nation would realize that women should be treated with the same respect a man is treated with.

It is disheartening to see how much more needs to be done in terms of women’s rights. Because of the dismissiveness surrounding women’s rights issues, issues such as the rise in campus rape remains a problem in need of some serious confrontation by our constituents.

There has always been a lack of conversation about the touchy subject (no pun intended) of sex, and until we start talking about it we can expect detrimental effects such as the rise of sexual assault on college campuses.

The prevailing culture of victim blaming surrounding sexual assaults prevents the victims from stepping forward, due to the fear of being blamed for provoking the attacks.

As if a low-cut shirt or a miniskirt could somehow broadcast a specific statement about how you were asking for it.

It sounds insane to have your personal space breached and your dignity as a human being decimated, all because you had the audacity to feel good about yourself when put on that new floral skirt in front of the mirror that morning.

Even though the victim is not at fault, they may think it is due to a misogyny-fueled perception that they deserved it for wearing provocative clothing.

Thus, sexually-charged attacks more often than not go unreported, and are hidden away, stuffed into a desolate corner of the victim’s mind.

According to a study done by the National Institute of Justice, it is estimated that there are 35 incidents of rape each academic year for every 1,000 women attending college.

The ACLU estimates that of all the campus rapes that occur, 95 percent go unreported.

The social stigma attached to the men and women who are victims of sexual assault proves to be an issue that is terrifyingly real.

A factor to be considered when investigating the reason behind the rise in campus sexual assaults is alcohol and substance usage.

Within campus life, most are no stranger to the party scene brimming with flashy lights, music and, of course, alcohol.

Alcohol and substance use makes it a much easier for others to take advantage of a drunk individual, who will probably not be alert enough to make good choices or give sound consent.

The perpetrator’s sense of responsibility may also be diminished, which can lead to misreading cues and, again, poor decision-making.

No 19-year-old, or anyone for that matter, should have muster up the courage to inform their friends, peers or family that they were sexually assaulted or rape.

No one should have to go through the trauma of being sexually assaulted in the first place and if they were raped, the person should not feel ashamed to tell trusted friends and family.

The perpetrator is to blame, not the victim.

If we cannot eradicate sexual assaults altogether, educational institutions should be mandated, early on in a child’s education, to provide tools and programs that will assist in the prevention of sexual abuse and assault.

Classes that will spread awareness, dismantle stigmas and encourage people to speak up about the issue should also be implemented.

If we do not discuss sex and issues encompassing it, we will essentially be dismissing something that plagues our country to an epidemic-like extent.

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