Sexual Assault in Every Day Life

On average, 288,820 people are victims of sexual assault in America, and the number is continuing to rise. America is ranked thirteenth for most rape cases in the world. These statistics do not even take into account the number of people too scared to come forward with their story.

“Sexual assault is a serious offense and America needs to start treating it like one,” junior Skyler Smith said.

Unfortunately, the high school and college years are a primary time of sexual assault attacks. In fact, there are even specific times of the year where sexual assault is more prevalent for college students. More than 50 percent of college sexual assaults occur in either August, September, October, or November.

“College campuses are students’ home away from home,” sexual assault victim Danielle St. Pierre said at a rally outside the State House in Massachusetts. “They should feel safe. It should not be a hunting ground for violence.”

Many times, victims of sexual assault do not feel safe to step up and say something about their experiences. This is due to the comparison of severity many people make when hearing about  sexual assault. However, there should be no comparison in severity of any kind of assault. If someone is murdered, society does not respond with “well, it was only a strangling, it could’ve been worse.” Sexual assault victims should be treated with the same courtesy, and not be looked down on or belittled.

“Victims should be taken seriously due to the fact that there can be potential that what they are saying is true,” an anonymous student at Lakeview said. “Every case has its own circumstances, and unless proven otherwise, claims are true and need to be investigated immediately.”

Some people have a very stereotypical thought when sexual assault comes to mind: Was she drinking? What was she wearing? However, if someone’s house is broken into, they are not blamed for having such a nice TV. If a child is kidnapped, they are not blamed for riding their bike home. Sexual assault victims should be treated with the same care and courtesy.

“People should understand that every situation is different and not all of them have the same circumstances,” an anonymous student at Lakeview said. “Every situation can be different and every claim should be considered. They should not be taken lightly.”

Many students consider their experiences with sexual assault everyday harassment. The fact that the word everyday harassment is even a thing, is horrific enough as it is. To use this to compare one person’s experiences to another is completely unjust. Whether it’s an unwanted grab of body parts, a unwanted sexual comment, or dissented sex, all sexual assault is real and should be taken with the highest degree of seriousness.

“Sexual violence doesn’t get the priority or, dare I say it, the right calibre of civil servants working on it,” Stephanie Reardon, the joint chief of LimeCulture, said in an interview with The Guardian. “Responsibility for tackling sexual violence needs to be at a much higher level across government.”