How You Can Stop Sexual Assault

How You Can Stop Sexual Assault

The importance of bystander intervention.
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We've all seen it.

It may seem like they're flirting at first, but then you look closer and sense something sinister. Maybe the two people are under the influence of alcohol, and aren't in the right state of mind to make these kinds of decisions. You're ticked off by it one way or another, and you wonder if you should step in, maybe say something to the person in the couple whose sex you identify with.

For me, I wondered if I should pull the girl aside and ask her if she was okay. It was obvious she was drunk, and I had a bad feeling something was going to happen between her and this male stranger who had obviously taken a liking to her.

If you get this feeling, perhaps when you see one or two drunk people acting inappropriately, take that feeling as a sign and step in. You just might save someone from sexual assault.

When going out with friends, they're supposed to stick by you. But when distractions and alcohol get involved, friend groups get separated, and you may find yourself alone with someone you just met. Be a good friend, and watch out for your friends.

And even if you're not a friend, you're a bystander. You notice something suspicious going on between a drunk girl and a strange man. Girls, watch out for your fellow girls. We need to stand up for each other and protect each other. In a world where 1 in 4 college students experience attempted or completed sexual assault and/or rape during their college career, it's better to step in than to let it happen.

This doesn't mean all men are rapists. But when you see something that may look like it may become non-consensual at some point in the night, don't hesitate to step in and say something.

I grabbed the girl by the arm to get her attention, and leaned in close to her so we could hear each other talk over the loud music.

"Are you OK?" I asked.

And that's all it took.

Accept your responsibility as a bystander, and as a fellow human. As the saying goes: "if you see something, say something." It's better to check in on the two parties and make sure everything is alright than to ignore it, saying "it's not my problem," and then find out one of them was given a date rape drug or sexually assaulted later that night.

Of course, responsibility for rape falls on rapists. Need I remind you of the Brock Turner case? Obviously it was his fault that poor young woman was raped. But, do you remember the bikers who biked by and saw the rape occurring? They immediately stepped in, stopped the rape, and saved the girl.

This is an extreme example of the importance of bystander intervention. Most of you in your lives will not see a rape occurring. But, more often than you may think, you may be seeing an interaction that will later end in rape or sexual assault, especially if alcohol is involved.

You're not a "snitch" or a "cockblock" if you politely intrude and ask the girl if she is OK. Wouldn't you better be safe than sorry?

Watch out for your fellow girls, watch out for your friends, and watch out for yourself. It's a dangerous world out there, especially for young women. If we all take some responsibility and take a moment to step in, we can all prevent sexual assault.

Cover Image Credit: Amanda Berg

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I Woke up In The Middle Of The Night To Write About My Fears, They're Worse Than The Dark

One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

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It is one of those nights when I am tired, but for some reason, I can't seem to fall asleep. So, what do I do? I pull out my laptop, and I begin to write. Who knows where it will lead. It could lead to a killer article or something that does not make sense. I mean it is almost 2 A.M. In my mind, that's pretty late.

Anyways, let's do this thing.

Like many people, thoughts seem to pile up in my head at this time. It could be anything from a time when I was younger to embarrassing stories to wondering why I am "wasting" my time somewhere to thoughts about the future. All of these things come at me like a wildfire. One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

The thought that is going through my mind as I write this is about the future. It's about the future of my fears. Let me explain. I have multiple fears. Some of my fears I can hide pretty well, others I am terrible at hiding. My fears may seem silly to some. While others might have the same fears. Shall we start?

1. My career

I don't know where to begin with this one. For as long as I can remember, my consistent dream job has been working in the world of sports, specifically hockey. A career in sports can be and is a challenging thing. The public eye is on you constantly. A poor trade choice? Fans are angry. Your team sucks? "Fans" are threatening to cheer for someone else if you can't get your sh*t together. You can be blamed for anything and everything. Whether you are the coach, general manager, owner, it does not matter. That's terrifying to me, but for some reason, I want to work for a team.

2. My family

Julie Fox

Failing with my family, whether that be the family I was born into or my future family, it terrifies me. I have watched families around me fall apart and I have seen how it has affected them. Relationships have fallen apart because of it. I have heard people talk about how much they hate one of their parents because of what happened. I don't want that.

3. Time

This could be a dumb fear. I'm not sure, but I fear time. With every minute that passes, I am just another minute closer to the end. With every day that passes that I am not accomplishing goals or dreams I have, I am losing precious time. It scares me to think of something horrible like "What if I die tomorrow because of something horrific?" or even worse, "What if I don't make it through today?" It's terrible, I know.

4. Forgetting precious memories

When I was younger, I had brain surgery. It is now much harder for me to remember things. I am truly terrified that I am going to forget things I will want to hold close to me forever, but I won't be able to. I am scared I'll forget about the little things that mean a lot. I'm afraid of forgetting about old memories that may disappear. I'm worried that I'll forget about something like my wedding day. That might seem out of this world, but it's a reality for me.

5. Saying "goodbye"

I hate saying bye. It is one of my least favorite things. Saying bye, especially to people I don't know when I'll see again, is a stab in the heart for me. I love my people so much. I love being around them. I love laughing with them. Thought of never having a hello with them again scares me beyond belief.

6. Leaving places that I love

Alright, let me start off by saying this- it takes a lot for me to love a place. It has to feel like home. It has to make me feel comfortable. It has to be a place I can go to and be myself. Thankfully, I have had and still have multiple places that are like that. I have also had places I could not wait to leave. I think that's why leaving places I love is so hard and something I fear so much. I am afraid I'll never get that place "back", for lack of a better term. I guess, I'm trying to say, it's like a piece of me is leaving as well.




These six things are just the start of my fears. Some of these might seem "dumb" or "ridiculous" to you, but for me, it's my life. These are the things that I think about the most. These are the things that feel like a pit in my stomach. These six things are parts of my life that mean a lot to me.

Cover Image Credit:

Emily Heinrichs

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Fighting to Reach what i believe in will be worthwhile, in the end

To dreams worth having, to obstacles of all sizes, and to the finish line that might never come yet forever keeps me going.

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Dear Life Goals,

Alright, look.

Being armed with the ability to, you know, more or less read the English language, I can see the word "life" plastered up there in your title. "Life," huh? Four unmistakable letters spelling out years and years and years of simply biding my time, hanging out, waiting. A quite literal life sentence, as it were, goading me, pressuring me, waiting on me to pick up the slack and pull myself to the end through struggles, heartache, aches and pains, misery, frequent hopelessness, unexpected trials, personal flaws. Sounds like a dream, that journey does.

I just…I've got to ask you. Are you positive - as in beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt positive - that the timeline can't quicken its pace to my doorstep, arms outstretched and ready to draw me into the overwhelming excitement of seeing all my dreams realized in the blink of an eye? Are you sure that I can't skip the buildup, passing go and collecting my life's worth without all the years and years and years standing in front of me?

Yeah. I figured.

Because you wouldn't be life goals if you didn't take time, would you? You wouldn't be life goals if you didn't push me through a lifetime, providing me with the hope and motivation that one day, I might look back on my timeline and have one last chance to smile, at peace with my eyes closed. More than that, more than definition, you wouldn't be a life goal worth having if you weren't the culmination of my work in this world, the result of my determination, what I've reaped from what I've sown. If I can chase my purpose through you, then what is the point of the purposeless life that I would live after you're gone?

I can't help but ask if I can bypass the extra steps and jump straight to the end. My impatience rivals that of toddlers and probably wins out more times than not. I've never been a big fan of waiting. But playing the long game is the only way to win. There isn't one path to the end or only one outcome, yet there are countless victories to be had. The short game, a straight shot to a simple prize, isn't why I'm here, is it? I want to be proud of what I do with my life, proud that I had the courage to chase my dreams through a mountain of mistakes and failures.

I know, I know, I'm sorry I keep bothering. Heh, I just can't help but check the status percentage from time to time, even though I know it hasn't changed. I want to see results, and that desire pushes me to invest more of my time, my energy, and myself into making what I've been dreaming of happen. I know it'll take time, but fighting to reach what I believe in will be more than worthwhile, in the end. I hope to end my last chapter knowing I fought through a lifetime for you. Then honestly, I'll have reached you no matter what my finale looks like.

Until next time we talk, I hope you'll continue to remind me that dreams don't come a dime a dozen. I hope you'll help me to have faith in myself and that you'll keep me going even if my utterly unreasonable impatience would have me giving up and hiding my life away in couch potato statuses and empty Dorito bags.

Thanks again,

A girl who's working on it

Cover Image Credit:

Pixabay

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