It could be your friend, it could be your roommate, or it could simply be that kind classmate that always loans you paper and pens during class. Sexual assault could happen to anyone. Why wait for someone you know personally to tell you it happened to them to get involved in your college’s policy against sexual violence?
What do you know about your college’s policies regarding sexual assault? What support and resources would you give a friend who had been sexually assaulted? Think you don’t need to worry about the answers to these questions because it is not going to happen to you or your friends? According to New York University’s Student Health Center, one in four women are sexually assaulted during thier time in college. Yes my friends, that is one in every four women. This statistic is so large that if you don’t know anyone at college that has been sexually assaulted, it is probably more likely that you do know someone but that the person simply has not told anyone yet.
The point of this information was not to depress you, but to make you more aware of a growing concern on college campuses today. We as students do not need to feel powerless in regards to sexual assault. Instead we can empower ourselves and advocate for ourselves and for others around us who are still working towards regaining their voice after someone made them feel as though they lost it in the chaos. As I was researching to write this article, I found a student led organization entitled “SAFER” that assists students in making stronger policies against sexual assault at thier schools. I encourage students to take advantage of this resource (http://www.safercampus.org/
about-us) and make thier colleges a safer place not just in reducing occurences of sexual assault, but also for those who have been sexually assaulted to report and get the support they need from us. Thank you for your advocacy and support in this matter. Thank you for being the voice for those who can only whisper at this time but who one day, with our support, will scream out and be the most powerful advocates of all in our fight against sexual violence.