4 Reasons Why Sexual Assault is an Everybody Issue

4 Reasons Why Sexual Assault is an Everybody Issue

With the prominence of these issues recently it's important to understand why this needs attention. Possible triggers to follow.

Recently, many people have bravely come out in Hollywood and Politics with their stories of sexual assault and harassment. The accused have had a wide range of responses to the accusations from straight up denial or diminishing the accusation, to admitting to assaulting the victim. The American public has also had reactions to these accusations from complete disbelief to utter shock and support. However, the most dangerous belief that anyone can have is to not believe the victim at all. This is a major issue that affects society all together whether or not we realize it. Here are four reasons why sexual assault and harassment must be an everybody problem.

1. At Least One Person in our Life has Been a Victim of Sexual Assault

Whether we know of them or not, there is at least one person in our life who has been a victim of sexual assault and harassment. I can think of at least five people I know off the top of my head who have been sexually assaulted and harassed. If you don't know someone in your life that has, that does not mean it hasn't happened. It just means they have not felt like they can or ever will be able to share such traumatizing events from their life, or it could be that their abuser is still in their life. It is important to always be there for those we care about to discuss these injustices in a compassionate and non-judgmental, non-blaming manner. Listen actively, not passively, and give thoughtful responses to their emotions.For those who don't share keep an eye out for if someone has been acting out of character (shying away from physical advances), or if there are physical signs of abuse (bruising or scratches). It is our responsibility as their loved one to show this level of care.

2. At Least One Person we Don't Know has Been a Victim of Sexual Assault

We should care just as much about the victims we don't know as for those we do. They are human beings, just as we are. Equals on the playing field of life. Another way to think of this is in the sense of humanity as one big family. They are someones sibling, child, cousin, parent, or grandparent. Or maybe they don't have anyone left to look after them. So it is our job as their global family to look out for them.

3. The Lifelong Mental Trauma and PTSD Associated with Sexual Assault

Sexual assault and harassment is such a mentally degrading experience for people. They wonder if they could have done something to prevent it, or if they were really at fault for what happened to them. It is an experience that follows someone throughout life. Some people are able to grow past it, but some people are so heavily traumatized by their experience that it is difficult or even impossible to move past. Even if you move past the experience, that doesn't mean that you ever forget or that post-traumatic experiences can never occur. It just means they have learned to push that part of them to the back of their mind. This is such an important factor, as it affects the quality of a persons life and their mental and physical well being. Especially as mental health is slowly becoming as much a priority as physical health. If people are experiencing poor mental health it may affect their professional and personal relationships, and ability to function effectively in school and work. To push them away due to disbelief is to deny their personal struggles and experience, and may worsen their poor mental state.

4. Sexual Assault is Still Such a Prominent Issue Today

Even with campaigns and ads and civil rights marches we are still facing this problem. It is mainly because of the lack of consent teachings in sex ed classes in schools, parenting methods that teach young minds to objectify others and prescribe to gender normative ideas of sex, and the blatant disregard of the United States government for these serious issues. When I was growing up, I don't recall there ever being a huge discussion regarding consent in school. They mostly told us if we were going to have sex we should wear condoms or use birth control or abstain from sex entirely. Mind you, my school didn't offer free condoms to students (as far as I know). Then is the parenting prong of this problem. Young boys and girls are taught their "place" in society from a very young age based on gender norms. Women take care of the house and bare children and men are the breadwinners and the leader of the house. Of course this only accounts for male on female violence as the "weaker" sex, or male on male violence to assert a higher level of dominance. Then there is the government. We have politicians denying they committed atrocious acts on underage girls, and the governments evident dismissal to take action. We have people high up in government trying to remove Title IX protections for sexual assault victims on college campuses. We have a president that has been accused of misconduct as well! All this shows the grassroots is that this is not an issue that needs addressed, nor an issue that they should care about.

Cover Image Credit: Ellsworth Airforce Base

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I'm The College Girl Who Likes Trump And Hates Feminism, And Living On A Liberal Campus Is Terrifying

I will not sugarcoat it: I don't feel safe on my own campus.


I will get right to the point: being a conservative on a liberal college campus in 2019 downright terrifying.

At my university, I'm sure about 90% of the population, both students and faculty, are liberals. They are very outspoken, never afraid to express their views, opinions, and feelings in several ways. There are pride events for the LGBT community, a huge celebration for MLK day, and tons of events for feminists.

Then there's the minority: the conservatives. The realists. The "racists," "bigots," and "the heartless." I am everything the liberals absolutely despise.

I like Donald Trump because he puts America first and is actually getting things done. He wants to make our country a better place.

I want a wall to keep illegals out because I want my loved ones and me to be safe from any possible danger. As for those who are genuinely coming here for a better life, JUST FILL OUT THE PAPERWORK INSTEAD OF SNEAKING AROUND.

I'm pro-life; killing an infant at nine months is inhumane to me (and yet liberals say it's inhumane to keep illegals out…but let's not get into that right now).

I hate feminism. Why? Because modern feminism isn't even feminism. Slandering the male species and wanting to take down the patriarchy is just ridiculous.

I hate the media. I don't trust anyone in it. I think they are all biased, pathological liars. They purposely make our president look like the devil himself, leaving out anything good he does.

I will not sugarcoat it: I don't feel safe on my own campus.

I mostly keep my opinions to myself out of fear. When I end up getting one of my "twisted" and "uneducated" thoughts slip out, I cringe, waiting for the slap in the face.

Don't get me wrong; not everyone at my university is hostile to those who think differently than they do.

I've shared my opinions with some liberal students and professors before, and there was no bloodshed. Sure, we may not see eye to eye, but that's okay. That just means we can understand each other a little better.

Even though the handful of students and faculty I've talked to were able to swallow my opinions, I'm still overwhelmed by the thousands of other people on campus who may not be as kind and attentive. But you can't please everybody. That's just life.

Your school is supposed to be a safe environment where you can be yourself. Just because I think differently than the vast majority of my peers doesn't mean I deserve to be a target for ridicule. No one conservative does. Scratch that, NO ONE DOES.

I don't think I'll ever feel safe.

Not just on campus, but anywhere. This world is a cruel place. All I can do is stand firm in my beliefs and try to tolerate and listen to the clashing opinions of others. What else can I do?

All I can say is... listen. Be nice. Be respectful of other's opinions, even if you strongly disagree. Besides, we all do have one thing in common: the desire for a better country.

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Why I Love Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, not for political reasons

I don't want to talk about political beliefs necessarily when I talk about why I fucking love AOC.


My political affiliation couldn't be kept a secret even if I tried. In the words of my mother, I've been a liberal since I popped out of the womb. So to me, the dramatic change in representation in the House was a huge win for me at this time in history.

While I sit on one side of the aisle because that's where I hear the most conversations about my closest political beliefs happening, I don't want to talk about political beliefs necessarily when I talk about why I fucking love Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The first I'd ever heard of this powerful voice from New York was in a video being shared around on Facebook that gave me a strong sense of hope that I haven't felt in a while. She explains the nuance behind "identity politics" and the importance of complete representation in Congress in terms of race, class, and policy. Here was a young woman in my generation (or just outside of it) running for Congress because she knew there was work to be done, not because she knew she would win, or because of some larger force paying her to win, or because she comes from a family of politicians. She ran because she was passionate and because she works to understand her district and represent them in ways that give her district a matched fight with revolving-door politicians who know how to play the game.

This woman, to me, represents accessibility into politics for Americans. When I first started listening to politicians and presidents talk on TV, I remember listening to Obama speak my freshman year of high school (maybe for a state of the union address?) and I asked my mom what a lot of words meant. I learned what poverty, immigration, economic policy, taxes, the middle-class, and more were. She had answers for some but not all of my questions, and then I asked why they felt the need to use such big, intimidating words? Weren't they supposed to represent the country, who to my understanding, probably didn't know what all of these words meant if my own mother didn't? (Moms know everything.)

I didn't want to be left behind in a country that made decisions based on Harvard graduate levels of thinking when most of us were in fact, not Harvard graduates. I was aware when Obama used words I had on a vocabulary test the week before, and I was aware that my honors class was strikingly different from my friends' general education English classes, and that our entire high school was years ahead of some less privileged schools 30-minutes away. But all of us, no matter how politically accessible our situations were or not, were to be represented by a man using these words.

AOC is progressive (in a non-political sense) for Americans because she uses rhetoric and tools to educate Americans instead of persuading or intimidating them to think that she just knows best. She's a politician, yes, so of course she uses persuasive techniques to get policy she believes in to pass so she can do her job as a legislator. But have you seen her Instagram stories or heard her speak in interviews?

Her style of leadership involves a refreshing level of transparency and group participation. I feel like I'm allowed to ask questions about what happens in Washington D.C., and about what another congressperson meant when they said ______. She answers questions like these online to her followers, some of which are her represented correspondents, and some of which are people outside of her district just desperate to expose themselves to any congressperson willing to talk to them on their level. Her flow inspires the average American to listen and checks the confident incumbent from underestimating just how much she knows.

Not all of us are fortunate enough to afford college. Not all of us are fortunate enough to come from a community where high schools prepared and primed us for college-level vocabulary filled conversations. Some of us have to accept politics as a realm with which we can never be involved, heard, or interactive. A.O.C. is what's changing this mentality. 43% of adults living in poverty function at low literacy rates. If they can't understand political rhetoric, how will they be able to democratically participate? Politicians spend so much time talking about poverty rates and how they want to move every family into a middle-class lifestyle, but they don't alter their political approach to invite the poverty-stricken or under-educated Americans into their conversations. AOC does this.

She spends time every night explaining whatever her followers have questions about in full detail. She actually uses up-to-date technology and social media to communicate with Americans, making older senators look lazy or technologically incompetent for not engaging with their community as often or as explicitly. Not to mention, every video I've ever seen produced by her or her team (including her Instagram stories) have closed-captions already edited in. She considers every American to be her audience before speaking, and the fact that what she's doing feels new and refreshing to me suggests just how badly we need her, and more people like her, in politics today.

This isn't even because of her understanding that literacy affects voting--in the original video I saw of her, she understands that the people she represents were flat-out not being addressed in politics. "People aren't voting because no one is speaking to them." Truly and meaningfully, directly and honestly.

She's America's teacher, a representative of why mentorship on all levels is important, and to me, what America would look like if our politicians were not only our representatives, but our educators, our mentors, and our teammates.

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