Lady Gaga's Oscar Performance Is A Call To Action
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Lady Gaga's Oscar Performance Is A Call To Action

Sexual assault is a problem, so let us be the solution.

Lady Gaga's Oscar Performance Is A Call To Action

If you haven't listened Lady Gaga's "Til It Happens To You", please pause and do so.

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As a woman in college, it's never far from my mind that sexual assault can and does happen on my campus. I have friends across the country who have been victims of sexual assault. Some are seeking retribution from their attackers and others aren't. Rape and sexual assault is not always perpetrated by a stranger on the street. It can be your friend, it can be an acquaintance, it can happen during the day or at night. There is no single definition of sexual assault.

To quote one of my favorite shows, "Law and Order SVU," this crime is the only one where "the victim's word isn't good enough. You have to prove that a crime was committed."

Sexual assault, especially on college campuses, has been a hot topic discussed in media for the past year. It was a year ago that Lady Gaga opened up about her rape. As most of you know, Lady Gaga's Oscar-nominated song "Til It Happens To You" was written and produced for the groundbreaking documentary "The Hunting Ground," which addresses sexual assault on college campuses and the lack of response by the universities.

Her performance at the Oscars yesterday represents the need for a conversation about sexual assault. With 50 survivors standing behind her, Lady Gaga gave an emotion-filled performance that brought tears to those in attendance and that could serve as the catalyst for change.

"The Hunting Ground" hasn't been the only popular media surrounding the topic of sexual assault. Emily Yoffe's “The Campus Rape Overcorrection was a finalist for the National Magazine Awards 2015 under the category of Public Interest. This article, however, focuses on the wrongfully accused, not the rape victim. Yoffe makes claims that take the side of the accused, which is awful if they are wrongfully accused, but she never presented the statistics that show the percentage of wrongfully accused sexual assault assailants (3-8 percent) is the same percentage of wrongfully accused assailants for almost all other crimes. Medium did a great rebuttal of her article.

Lizzie Crocker wrote, "Is Campus Rape Really an Epidemic?" which also addresses the issue of accused attackers not having a voice, making "The Hunting Ground" problematic. I agree that this is a voice that is important to hear, however, we should be cognizant of the fact that, when people are accused of almost any crime, they are not typically willing to admit to it. According to survey data found in "Denying Rape but Endorsing Forceful Intercourse: Exploring Differences Among Responders," 1 in 3 men are willing to rape a woman if they can get away with it, but that turns to only 13.6 percent of men when the wording changes to include the word rape.

In 2014, Jon Stewart addressed this topic on "The Daily Show."

This is not a new issue. This can be called an epidemic when universities continue to sweep sexual assault under the rug.

There are many arguments against Lady Gaga and "The Hunting Ground," some of which are very valid, but we cannot deny that their boldness is bringing attention to this issue.

It's On Us is a national campaign asking everyone to take the pledge, "This pledge is a personal commitment to help keep women and men safe from sexual assault. It is a promise not to be a bystander to the problem, but to be a part of the solution."

It's time for us to take a stand against sexual assault for our friends, sisters, brothers, and strangers because no one deserves to be attacked.

Don't let this be a passing passion. When you're out, remember the things that keep coming up in the media and take a stand.

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