The U.S. Is Slowly Making Rape OK, And I Am Not OK With That

The U.S. Is Slowly Making Rape OK, And I Am Not OK With That

As a college student, I am surrounded by rape, and I could never begin to imagine going through such a situation and then having to have a child due to it.

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A couple weeks ago, I got into an Uber.

I wasn't expecting my driver to tell me what she did. She informed me that just weeks ago, she had picked up a girl on the side of the road walking alone who had just been raped. Raped. She did what she thought to be the right thing and took her to the hospital, right in the heart of a college town, and was shocked to find out what they didn't have: rape kits. They told the victim that by the time they got one from the closest hospital that had one, it would be useless.

I was appalled.

Now, what's even more appalling is everything that's going on at this very moment surrounding female reproductive rights. I've tossed up the idea of writing on this topic for a while, but I finally decided it's time. Numerous states, including my own home state, have recently made big moves in the wrong direction on the topic of abortion, including the heartbeat bill.

As one article puts it, "Heartbeat bans attempt to outlaw abortions as soon as a heartbeat can be detected, which is often in the embryonic stage, as early as six weeks' gestation, before many people even know they are pregnant. These laws, some of the most extreme in the country, are flatly unconstitutional because they seek to ban abortion months before the point at which a fetus is viable."

Now, I'm not one to believe that abortions should just be thrown around like nothing, but in no way should they be completely thrown away, which is essentially what these states are trying to do.

What's even more appalling on this matter is the speech that our country's politicians are using to validate their positions. Here are some of the most shocking:

"Rape is kinda like the weather. If it's inevitable, relax and enjoy it." — Clayton Williams
"Rape victims should make the best of a bad situation." — Rick Santorum
"In the emergency room, they have what's called rape kits, where a woman can get cleaned out." — Jodie Laubenberg (I can't even begin to express how wrong this statement is.)
"If a woman has the right to an abortion, why shouldn't a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman? At least the rapist's pursuit of sexual freedom doesn't (in most cases) result in anyone's death." — Lawrence Lockman

These are actual statements from politicians on why they remain pro-life. These are the people representing our country. These are the people who are now representing my body and my reproductive rights, and I'm not going to lie, I'm scared.

Scared to get raped in a college town where the hospital even doesn't have rape kits.

Scared to get raped in a society that doesn't believe in or care about the woman making a claim.

Scared to get raped.

I'm honestly not sure if and when I want children, but I now live in a country where these concerns do not matter. However, my own thoughts aren't the only thing that does not seem to matter.

Eleven years old. This is how old a rape victim in Ohio is, who is now pregnant. Thanks to the new law, young women like her will now have to follow through with their pregnancies, but it does not matter to these politicians.

When signing the bill, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine focused on the rights of the fetus. "The essential function of government is to protect the most vulnerable among us, those who don't have a voice," he said. "Government's role should be to protect life from the beginning to the end."

If they really wanted to protect the "most vulnerable," they would think about the young (and old) rape victims who go unacknowledged each and every day.

As one article from CBS reports,

"More than 4,000 women were raped in Ohio in 2017, according to data compiled by the FBI. Of those, more than 800 victims were assaulted by a family member. In the future, if women became pregnant as a result of such crimes, Ohio's so-called 'fetal heartbeat bill' would prohibit them from receiving an abortion any time after about six weeks, which is before most women even know they're pregnant."

Ohio's new law has no exceptions for rape victims or incest. These states do not care. In several cases, they even place the blame on the victim and shove the situation under the rug.

If we truly want to "Make America Great Again," we need change.

These laws are inhumane, as are the people supporting them and representing us as a country. It seems as if every day we keep moving backward instead of forward, and are moving back into a society that advocates against women, minorities, and more.

I could never support something that could easily affect me at any point in time that I have no control over.

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Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.

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Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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Lessons Learned ​From The Experiences Of Five Freshman Girls

Good lessons to learn from these five Freshman who learned them the hard way

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I've wondered what people pinpoint as "learning moments" in their lives. I have had quite a few in 2019 so far and mine seem to be worlds different than others' around me. So, I asked around to people I trust and love, what they have learned so far in college.

Each of these humans has come from a different walk of life and most of them don't know each other. They all walk on the same campus, breath the same air, go to the same classes, and yet, their lives look really different.

My one and only question: "tell me some things you learned being in college?"


A good, good friend I met on my first floor this semester was Jacqui Kling. Freshman here at Oral Roberts University, Jacqui comes from a really level headed family with 3 older brothers. She is kind, compassionate, considerate and a deep thinker. She is the kind of leader that other leaders want to follow. This past year, college life has taught her "how to say no to things and how to not be easily offended." As an upcoming RA on the ORU campus, she also took a minute to talk about her leadership opinion, expressing that "leaders are intercessors, and it's not about us changing people, it's God changing people through us [leaders]." She said that she is "leading through influence," and she expressed that she wasn't a manager, she was an influencer. Her actions mattered in leadership just as much as her words. Another important lesson Jacqui said she learned was that the "Holy Spirit is accessible to us any time of the day, even for things that we think are unimportant." Her last point and the thought I ponder quite often is that "though they may, I may not."

xoxo Thanks Jacqui, you're a peach.


A Holy woman of God that has shocked me since the moment I met her is Helena Harper. Do not underestimate her. She is so sincere, loves and fears God and gives her all to her passions. Asking Helena about the things she has learned thus far in college, she started with "well, I learned that spirit empowered leadership is real." She also said that "extended times of prayer are real and make a change." She reminded me of something that I forget a lot by saying that "Jesus loves me all the time, even when I hate myself. I am always loved, even when I feel hated." When I asked her about her relationship with God and how that overflows into her relationships, she said that she never tries to convert people or throw the bible in their face. She simply "spends time with God, then talks to people..." Out of the overflow of her heart comes forth love and kindness, and it is evident in her every word.

I loved getting to know Helena this year, and I have a feeling I am gonna wanna keep her as a longtime pal.


Katie Watrous was one of those people with a story that you "OMG" to like, a million times. She has been through the fire and back, and yet she loved honestly and she is not afraid to hold onto her truth. This year she learned about "intentionality in relationships, meaning, who I allow to pour into me. I am also intentional with my time and with my time spent with God." Knowing some of Katie's story, the next thing she said she learned really blessed my heart. She said that she "learned school isn't everything. College is just 4 years. A small four years compared to the rest of our lives. There is more to life than school. There is even more to THIS season of life than just school." My translation of that is that there is never a need for a boring, dull season. A season of life can be filled with excitement and wonder or quiet rest and peaceful healing.

Katie is someone I admire and look up to for strength and perseverance.


Breanna is a powerhouse singer/songwriter who I spent most of my time with. She is strong and mighty, loves deeply, and is not afraid to tell you what's up. Her points were simple: "There is a proper way to choose friends and you don't need to be friends with everyone." That one hit me good. There is a difference to me between saying, "I don't have to be friends with everyone," and "I don't need to be friends with everyone." Food for thought.

I loved hanging with Breanna and hearing her heart, getting to know her family and seeing the world through her eyes. She taught me a lot.


Let's not forget that I also learned some things this semester. I found out this year that I genuinely just care about people. I love making anyone in the room feel like they are the most important. I enjoy the challenge of pulling the misfits out of the shadows and giving them a voice. I don't call them projects and I don't think about them that way either. I just know that everyone had talents and opinions, but sometimes the louder people get all the spotlight.

I also learned that every moment is precious, and living in the moment is worth it. I have lived my whole life looking forward to the next best thing, almost completely taking for granted the good things right in front of me. This semester, I started as a freshman and ended as a junior. Just like that, two years turned into one semester. I have very little time to experience a multitude of things people learn in college. Keeping myself in the moment is important for me. I want to enjoy my time, my major and my relationships.

I learned the hard way that Jesus is irreplaceable. Nothing can replace the lessons learned in the presence of God. It's important for me to, if I am going to be diligent about anything, be diligent about being in the prayer room daily, the scriptures every morning, and in the presence of God. Nothing can replace what I learn from God.

Finally, I learned that God's plans are actually way better than mine, and that should encourage me! I am a planner, an executor. However, I question whether or not I am making the right plan. Following God's plan takes the pressure off my shoulders to pick the perfect path. He guides me, and I simply listen.

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