Samantha Josephson's Murder Proves College Girls Should Be Careful

The Murder Of Samantha Josephson Hits Every College Student Too Close To The Heart

It could happen to any of us.

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She was my age. She did something that I have done countless times. However, she did not return home.

Samantha Josephson, a senior at the University of South Carolina, was tragically kidnapped and murdered last week. The scary part is that this is something that could happen to any of us.

After going out with friends, she called an Uber to take her home. When a black car pulled up, she got inside the vehicle, believing that it was her Uber ride. But it wasn't.

The amount of times my friends and I have gone up to cars and said, "Hello, is this ride for Julia?" frightens me. I mean, what is the person going to say? How can I trust his or her answer anyway?

We need to start being more cautious. Instead of asking who the ride is for, you can simply ask the driver his or her name instead. Make sure the name matches the name in your app. Make sure the car is the same model. Make sure the license plate is identical. Make sure that you are sure because it is better to be safe rather than sorry.

The news does not shy away from these types of stories. We hear about kidnappings and murders far too often. However, this story seemed to resonate with me because she was like any other college student. There are thousands upon thousands of college students who go out and probably mistake other drivers for their Uber driver.

While these situations do not always result in danger, the point is that they very well can.

Even if you do check the person's name, the car model, and the license plate, it is so much safer if you are with a friend.

I know how it feels though. I hate going out and leaving early, dragging one of my friends home with me. I hate feeling like a burden, interrupting someone else's fun night.

But please take someone with you.

There will be more fun nights to come. There will be more bar crawls, more birthday parties, and more memories to make.

So please take someone with you. I promise, you will not be an inconvenience for them, even if you feel like it in the moment.

This murder case is the scariest thing I have read about in a while. It is horrifying how such an honest mistake can lead to such a dangerous, life-threatening, or deadly outcome.

Please take caution. Not just after the sun sets, but at all times of the day. Please take caution because you never think it will happen to you. But that's what everyone thinks. Please take caution because there are some awful, awful people in this world.

This murder case is extremely unfortunate and my heart breaks for the family.

All we can do from here is learn from everything that has happened.

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"I Believe You" By Fletcher Is A Song Everyone Needs To Hear

Are you losing your mind thinking "What would it take?" to make somebody listen to you?
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It's still April which means it's still Sexual Assault Awareness Month! I was talking with my friends last week and one of them mentioned the song "I Believe You" by Fletcher. I had never heard it so I decided to listen to it later while doing homework- and my life was changed. I mean changed. This song is IMPORTANT and everyone needs to listen to it. Below are the lyrics courtesy of AZ Lyrics. I highly, HIGHLY recommend listening to the song while reading the lyrics.

It's the sick-to-your-stomach feeling with a smile on your face.

Too often victims are forced to keep a smile on their face out of fear. They feel like they can't speak up or act like anything is different because of retaliation.

It's the memory you ignore but you can't erase.

The memories of assault or times of harassment are always in the back of their minds.

It's the text in the middle of the night you didn't ask for.

You didn't ask for it.

It could help your career but at what cost.

Trading promotions for sexual favors. Disgusting.

Are you holding back something that you're dying to say?

Are you?

Me too.

Girl, I believe you.

I believe you. I promise someone believes you.

Are you losing your mind thinking "What would it take?" to make somebody listen to you

Me too.

It's the room full of rumors and everybody's staring.

It feels like all eyes are on you. People have their own versions of every story but it's none of their business. Ignore them, it's easier said than done but I promise they don't matter.

Did they tell you "You were asking for it by what you were wearing."

Your outfit does not mean consent!!! A short skirt is not an invitation to be groped. A low cut top is not asking for inappropriate comments.

It's the stains from your makeup and tears on your pillow.

Your pillow knows your every thought and feeling. It's a constant reminder.

It's a piece of yourself that you let go.

Something was stolen from the victims. Something that no one had the right to take and they had to let it go.

Do you want to scream but just can't find the air?

Sometimes you feel you're going to suffocate.

Me too.

Girl, I believe you

Are you losing your mind thinking "What would it take?" to make somebody listen to you?

All they want is to be believed. This society is so messed up and blames the victim instead of listening to them. Just please listen to them.

Me too.

They say step up and sit down, shut up and back down.

So what's up yeah, what's up with that.

What the hell is up with that? Telling the victims to keep their mouths shut so they don't ruin another person's life? What about their life? Why don't people care about the victims' lives?

So we dress up, get felt up, get shot down, don't speak up.

Yeah, what's up, yeah, what's up with that.

I don't think it's too much to ask to not feel AFRAID to dress up and go out but apparently, it is. I would just get blamed for my outfit.

Are you holding back something that you've just been dying to say?

Say it. Say it loud.

Me too.

Girl, I believe you.

Do you know every battle that you've had to face is making you bulletproof.

You. Are. So. Strong.

Me too, me too

Girl, I believe you

Do you know every battle that you've had to face is making you bulletproof

Me too.

Girl, I believe you.

Me too. I believe you.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/art-awareness-campaign-concrete-622135/

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I Faced My Fear Of Dressing 'Provocatively' Because What I Really Feared Was Sexual Assault

Getting dressed in the morning shouldn't be something any girl is convinced will be a nightmare.

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As a girl, I was always told to "cover up." Shirts should have sleeves, cleavage shouldn't peak out, dresses should reach the knees, and makeup shouldn't be "too much." If my clothes fit me a certain way, I would be inviting people to basically attack me and anything that happens would be my fault. Because "boys will be boys," and that means it's in their DNA to gawk at pretty girls.

And even with me being called "chubby," or "thick," or "closed off," and "unapproachable," that still applied to me. I was a "pretty girl" and therefore a target if my shoulders were out. When you're twelve or fifteen, it feels like a protocol. It's the way it is and covering up is for your own good.

And all through high school, I followed the rules. I didn't dress even remotely provocatively out of fear. I was comfortable with being more reserved. I had confidence without being prudish, and I felt secure. But in time, I realized that even though my loved ones may have been just trying to keep me safe, they were victim blaming. People were telling me that if something bad happened to me, it would be my fault for dressing a certain way. But they weren't preparing me for the real fear: sexual assault

I finally realized I would never be at fault for being assaulted, God forbid it'd ever happen. It's completely out of my hands. The fear of showing my shoulders of thighs wasn't something to fear at all. Predators don't walk around with a checklist with requirements we need to meet in order to be a target.

And no one was going to tell me "you can't wear that," or deceive me by telling me I was "asking for it." So I bought a dress that was more revealing than anything I'd ever worn. It wasn't like the cute sundresses I always wore before. It was lowcut and short and when I clicked the "submit order" button, I felt like I'd done something bad. I felt all the words of assistant principals and aunts and grandmothers and my dad. It hung in my closet for months and collected dust with all the shorts I decided I was too tall to wear and tops that showed too much skin.

Then I decided to wear it on my 19th birthday. I knew I'd be with people I was comfortable around and just their presence would make me feel safe. The way I dressed would never matter, but especially not on my night. And it felt so good. I was a new kind of confident and I loved my body in a way I hadn't before. Because in all honesty, I didn't love it much. And the last thing I needed was another reason not to love my body. I was convinced it wasn't good for much more than tempting pervy men. Not to mention, I wasn't really worried about making myself look good as much as I was staying on guard.

I regained so much confidence. The kind of confidence you have when you're five and dress yourself for the first time and you feel fabulous with the plethora of patterns and colors you've chosen. No one was holding me back. I just broke the fear that people would be watching. Because they're not, they're too worried about themselves.

If it's hot, I wear less. If I'm feeling good about the way I look, I'll wear less. If I'm in a mood where wearing too much is going to annoy me, I'll wear less. And if anyone thinks my clothes, or my lack thereof, have to do with anything other than that, that's their problem.

Getting dressed in the morning shouldn't be something any girl is convinced will be a nightmare. Or clothes aren't supposed to be the monsters in our closets we were afraid of.

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