“Something brushed my leg,” Mallory screeched. “Something touched me.”
Mallory flailed her arms to somehow propel herself out of the water. No use. She tried to peer further under the water, but it was useless. The sunlight escaped behind the horizon hours ago. Mallory’s vision blurred as she tried hard to concentrate. Maybe she shouldn’t have had that fourth bottle of beer, people would say.
The boat was still visible; its flashing party lights dazzled the night sky. The DJ beat rhythms into the water; he transitioned from one song to the next like waves lapping the side of the boat. It was a party with alcohol, games, and music so loud that you had to shout the whole time to whisper into someone’s ear. It was the kind of party you felt the next day. Maybe she shouldn’t have gone out tonight, people would say.
“Help! Someone help me.”
No one on the boat paid any attention to Mallory, so few even heard her frantic cry of shock. It was around 100 feet. She was a good swimmer, but Mallory didn’t stand a chance of making it before whatever was in the water got to her. Why had she got into the water anyway? She couldn’t remember. Her thoughts were racing too fast; her mind was too slow. Maybe she shouldn’t have gotten herself into this situation, people would say.
The waves push her around the open ocean. They grabbed at her red and white polka-dotted bandini swimsuit. Mallory alternated between frantically treading water and holding her bandini up. She didn't want to expose herself. Maybe she shouldn’t have been wearing such a scandalous clothes, people would say.
Weren’t sharks attracted to the color red, she thought. She had read that somewhere. Some online article. It didn’t help that she had gotten sunburned the day before. Her normally pale skin rivaling her swimsuit. She had been asking for it, people would say.
It brushed her leg again. Mallory swam as fast as she could towards the boat. All she had to do was get out of the water. She risked a glance behind her. It was coming right towards her. Gaining. Gaining. Gaining…In the end, it was inevitable.
That was a tragic end for Mallory, but what if you only read the last sentences of each paragraph:
“Something touched me.”
Maybe she shouldn’t have had that fourth bottle of beer.
Maybe she shouldn’t have gone out tonight.
“Someone help me!”
Maybe she shouldn’t have gotten herself into this situation.
Maybe she shouldn’t have been wearing such scandalous clothes.
She had been asking for it.
In the end, it was inevitable.
Well, that sounds like something else... That sounds like what people say when they talk about sexual assault. That can't be right. This is an article about shark attacks. That's why you clicked, isn't it? You wanted to see some dominant predator scouring the beach for its next victim. You don't want to hear about sexual assault. It makes you feel weird. Well, hate to tell you, but it's time people felt weird. Sexual assault happens, and it is time for people to speak up for the victims of sexual assault and not to blame them.
According to the International Shark Attack File (ISAF), the longest running database on shark attacks, the United States has had 1,301 confirmed unprovoked shark attacks from 1837 to 2016. 4% of those have been fatal.
Did you know that you have a 1 in 3,748,067 chance to be killed by a shark?
Things you are more likely to be killed by than a shark:
Lightning – 1 in 79,746
Drowning – 1 in 1,134
Suicide – 1 in 119
Cancer – 1 in 5
According to the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN), around 284,000 Americans, 12 and older, are sexually assaulted each year. For a man, there is a 1 in 33 chance for it to happen in his lifetime. For a woman, there is a 1 in 6 chance for it to happen in her lifetime.
Based on the current U.S. population, that makes the chance for a person to be sexually assaulted each year:
Let's get focus our research a little more. Women are 3 TIMES more likely to experience sexual assault during their college years than any other time in their life. Let's not forget the guys, though. College men are 5 TIMES more likely to experience sexual assault than men the same age not in college. 23.1% of undergraduate females & 5.4% of undergraduate males experience sexual assault during their time in college. Furthermore, more than half of all sexual assaults on college campuses happen in August, September, October, & November.
So I would be exponentially safer dropping out of college, and swimming for the next 2 1/2 months. In the time it would take for me to be attacked by a shark, around 12,248 sexual assaults will happen on campuses across the country. That's an EPIDEMIC!!! Wake up, America!
So what's the punishment:
Sharks that kill people are usually hunted down and exterminated. Too bad that the jail time for rapists is only 3 months with "good behavior." We wouldn't want to accidentally cause mental damage to them like they have done to their victims. Makes you think...
Here is a moose taking a bath to lighten the mood.