Let’s talk about rape

It’s a well-known fact that sexual violence is a widespread problem around the world – but most people are unaware that it happens every 21 hours on American college campuses.

Now that’s something scary, isn’t it?  I suppose it’s the concept of out of sight, out of mind.  No one openly starts a conversation with, “Hey, let’s talk about sexual assault.”  To most, that would be weird, or not a socially acceptable topic.  But I’ll go out on a limb here and start a conversation with you, reader.

Let’s talk about rape.

It’s a silent epidemic; something that’s been kept quiet for a significant amount of time, only becoming a more widely-discussed subject in more recent years.  Now, a disturbing amount of young people are falling victim to sexual abuse, with a staggering statistic of 1 in 4 women and 1 in 16 men experiencing rape or attempted rape during their years in college, yet only 5% of these assaults are reported.   

The answer to this issue is awareness and education.  I believe it takes the mindset that this is happening now, as well as tools and knowledge to prevent assault.  It’s easy to be overwhelmed when the reality of a situation is thrown at you, but truthfully, your contribution to helping the issue could be as simple as being well-informed; just knowing what potential sexual assault looks like is critical to preventing the spread of the problem.  If we are informed and aware of something that is becoming a greater reality, especially for the upperclassmen of our school, we (as terribly cliché as it may sound) can become part of the solution.

Thankfully, a large number of awareness campaigns and associations are becoming more apparent – the government has even started the campaign, “1 is 2 Many” to spread awareness, and  apps have even been created to help prevent against sexual assault.  Today, many colleges and universities include sexual assault information and resources.  

We live in a state of constant denial, believing something so terrible couldn’t possibly happen to me.  I urge you, reader, to not be disillusioned by the assumption that you can never become a victim.  Sexual assault never discriminates, and the best defense against it is to be aware.  I urge you, reader, to not be ashamed to learn about this, to comfortably speak of an issue not usually discussed, and to acknowledge the reality of sexual violence on college campuses.