How You Can Stop Sexual Assault

How You Can Stop Sexual Assault

The importance of bystander intervention.

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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A Reminder to Enjoy the Silence

There is so much going on in the world; sometimes we have to be thankful for what’s not happening around us

Another day. Another schedule to follow. More meetings and classes to go to. More work and more things to get done. It seems as if there is an endless cycle of waking up, getting everything done that needs to be done, and struggling to make plans and fit everything in. By the end of the day, you just want to crash into bed and prepare yourself for the next day- a day that may consist of the same exact things you did the day before.

We all live in a world where there is always so much going on. Even during those times we’re alone, there is still something that seems to be happening. Maybe it’s the sound of those outside; screaming and yelling when a snowball fight breaks out. Maybe it’s coming from outside your door; the sound of people running up and down the hallway trying to get somewhere important. Maybe it’s the giggles you hear while trying to study at the next table over, wondering what could possibly be going on.

As people, I see that everyone is striving to be a part of something nearly all the time, regardless of how introverted or extroverted we are. We could be a part of a group, or we could be sitting all by ourselves, taking in everything that is going on around us and wondering what could possibly be happening in their lives at that exact moment.

The point here is that sometimes we need to take a break from all of this. Even if it’s brief. Everyone needs to find a time to get away from all that is happening and to simply enjoy the silence.

Yes, that may seem difficult to do, but to be completely honest, it could most likely be because you are always wanting to know ‘what’s happening’ or ‘what’s going on’.

Believe it or not, it is so much easier to find this break than you think.

When you find that chance- the chance to get away from others and the rest of society, go take a break and find a place where no sound can bother you, or at least as much as you can. Maybe it’s a room that no one uses. Maybe it’s a study spot that no one else knows about. Maybe it’s a simple, short walk outside somewhere.

But when you do this, don’t think about anything at all whatsoever. Clear your mind of everything; your thoughts, your struggles, your curiosity. For me, this would be focusing on noticing surroundings that would not typically appear in my mind throughout a typical day. Close your eyes, relax, and take in the sounds that you would normally overlook during your hectic day.

Is it the sound of a fan that keeps turning on and off? Is it the footsteps of a person walking by on the carpet in heels? Is it the birds chirping or the wind blowing by? If you’re walking, could it be the sound of the ground beneath your feet after every step? Maybe it’s the sound of windows opening and closing at a building you go by. Or, is it simply nothing at all?

This, my friends, is the sound of silence. It is the sound you hear when you finally take a break from reality. It is the sound of everything that doesn’t get any attention during the “typical day”.

This is the sound of what it’s like to clear your mind and not worry about the other aspects that are occurring in your life. It is what you hear when you finally get away and take a break from all that is happening around you. It’s the sound of everything that is overlooked by other “greater” things happening in life.

If you’re so into the world and what’s happening; If you’re worried about what everyone else around you is doing; If you feel the need to be where the rest of society is or have a wanting to “fit in”-- please remember that it’s ok to take a break from everything that is going on. It is ok to take a break from the madness known as everyday life.

It is ok to enjoy the silence- the kind that no one thinks about.

Cover Image Credit: Morgan .E. Rohde

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Waist Trainers Are Wasting Your Time

They're hurting, not helping.

We all want the "quick fix" to weight loss, the holy grail that'll help us shed pounds in weeks. The only issue here is that, just like the holy grail, the "quick fix" is also fake news. Recently I've seen many women using the waist trainer at the gym (and even all day) to help them achieve the "perfect" hourglass shape. What these women don't know is that these waist trainers are a waste of time.

Just because a Kardashian advertises something, doesn't mean it's helpful. In fact, the waist trainers can have many adverse side effects that aren't advertised to us. It makes us wonder, is there actually any science behind these trainers? According to, there's very little. The trainers can help you with your posture, help shed water weight, and force you to be more conscious about how much you eat, but all of this comes at a price.

Waist Trainers can cause a lot of damage to your body. The constricting corset can misplace your organs after long term use, the pressure on your midsection could limit blood flow and oxygen to these organs, and due to decreased oxygen, you could be at risk for passing out.

You are also at risk for passing out due to dehydration. Since waist trainers heat up your core, you sweat more, and, because many people don't supplement their water intake, they can quickly become dehydrated and then pass out.

You're also likely to loose the ab muscle that you already have. Wearing waist trainers long-term without working out can cause the muscles in your back and abdominal region to atrophy. It's like the old adage "If you don't use it you loose it." Because you have this waist trainer on, you aren't using your back muscles to keep your posture and you aren't using your ab muscles to pull yourself up off the couch or into any upright position.

Although waist trainers have a few benefits, there are also many drawbacks, and although they give us some temporary benefits, I definitely believe that the harm outweighs the good.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimendia Commons

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