In our society today, there's much talk about sexual assault. People are bringing awareness to this issue, which is exactly what is needed. However, there is still a lot of growth and improvement to go through as a community.
First things first, you may have noticed that the title of this article reads, "People" and not "Women." This is because we need to acknowledge that people of all gender identities are often put into these detrimental situations.
Women are not the only ones in our society that get abused, and many people forget about that. We need to focus our attention on all individuals, to ensure that people know their voices are heard and their experiences are valid.
As the awareness of sexual violence and abuse grows, people begin to think that there are distinct ways to prevent these from happening.
"Don't wear provocative clothing."
"Don't drink and party."
"Don't flirt with people you don't know."
"Don't walk home alone."
The truth of the matter is that rape still happens, no matter how "careful" you are.
Not because the victim was wearing a tight dress or because they drank a little too much.
Sexual assault doesn't occur because of the victim's actions or clothing.
Sexual assault occurs because there are bad people in this world who think it's okay to take advantage of others.
We should not have to be teaching others how to stay safe in the world. We should be teaching people how not to rape.
It is insanely sad that we live in a system where we feel the need to teach others how to be a good fucking human being.
So, the next time you think about making a statement on teaching individuals how to avoid being sexually assaulted: don't.
Instead, stand up against rape jokes.
Teach friends and family about the facts and myths of sexual violence.
Do not allow sexist behavior or the objectification of anyone.
Recognize that you have a part in all of this, and stand your ground.
"Avoiding" sexual assault starts with educating others about ending rape culture.
"Avoiding" sexual assault starts with you.