A majority of people currently know or have known someone who has been sexually assaulted. This fact is absolutely horrible! I do not understand how anyone can think that violating someone’s body is acceptable in any way, shape, or form (I am not just referring to men assaulting women or even other men; I am also including women assaulting men and other women).
A lot of cases happen on college campuses because there are more opportunities to dominate someone else. A great example of an opportunity could be a dorm room party where (commonly) we hear about a male forcing himself onto a female. Imagine that you were at a party on, say, Main 2nd, you could be surrounded by a lot of people and you felt pretty safe. Then the party died out and there were only a few of you left, by which time you may have drank a little bit more than enough. Perfect! Because now, no one would know or suspect foul play because you were already in there for the party, right?
When sexual assault happens on college campuses, a majority of the time it is committed by someone the victim knows, which, in the end, can make it harder for the victim to report it because the assailant(s) was/were friends or they didn’t even know it was considered sexual assault. This is an issue that involves everyone.
However, my biggest problem is when sexual assault is within the family. I personally know a handful of people that have been sexually assaulted when they were younger by someone in their family, and it destroyed a part of them. It takes away so many things that people might not realize…
The victims lose a sense of self identity and become confused about who they are and what this will do to them. Often people become depressed when dealing with the after math and overall shock of the situation. Also, people may feel a lot of pressure by being sexually assaulted by a family member who may come off as threatening. This can occur not only during the initial assault, but also in the following days of being forced to “participate” again and again. And finally, they feel trapped because it could ruin other family dynamics if they talked to someone about it. A big problem, I found, was not having someone to talk or report to that they thought would 1) believe them and take their words over the assailant’s and 2) take them seriously and not think they are lying. What do you think drives some people to believe that sexually assaulting a child (let alone one in your family) is okay?
Society teaches girls to have fear of safety. And constantly tips on what not to wear so they won’t get attacked. For example, if a girl is at a party and wearing a skimpy dress, people assume she is asking for it (it meaning sex). She might be… but she is not asking to get raped or assaulted.
The clothes someone wears does not regulate whether or not you should rape them. Self-presentation should have nothing to do with the issue of sexual assault. The victims should not be the ones questioned, it should be the assailant.
But in society today, we tend to focus more on what made a person get raped, rather than why the other person raped to begin with. We ask the question why did you get raped? Rather than, why did you rape? We need to change the system and start asking the right questions!
**Here at Randolph, there are many people (faculty and staff) that you can talk to if something like this has happened to you. Don’t feel like you are alone, people here want to help you! And you deserve to be heard. Stay strong, whoever you might be. (:
Comments are welcome!
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