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Fixing the sexual assault issue with more than a hashtag

The+%23metoo+has+inspired+many+victims+of+sexual+assault+to+shed+light+on+their+stories+to+bring+awareness+to+the+issue.
The #metoo has inspired many victims of sexual assault to shed light on their stories to bring awareness to the issue.

The #metoo has inspired many victims of sexual assault to shed light on their stories to bring awareness to the issue.

Richard Mendiola

Richard Mendiola

The #metoo has inspired many victims of sexual assault to shed light on their stories to bring awareness to the issue.

Nallely De Lara

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The #metoo has inspired many victims of sexual assault to shed light on their stories to bring awareness to the issue.

Being a woman in this day and age goes beyond being pressured to fulfill the stereotypes society has established for us. Being a woman has always required bravery as well.

Following the large number of women who have accused producer Harvey Weinstein of sexually assaulting them, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted a request: “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.”

Sure enough, the tweet received thousands of replies, thousands of women shared their personal and painful stories. This act of extreme bravery on the behalf of women across the entire world, was intended to illustrate how extremely grave the issue is.

Sexual assault and harassment is an extremely degrading and dehumanizing experience for the victims, it is also much more common than people comprehend. According to rainn.org, “1 out of 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.” Theoretically this means whether we’re aware of it or not, we all know a woman who has been victim of sexual assault. This is not okay.

The mere fact that people can be so pathetic to accuse women of being responsible for being victims of sexual assault is disgusting.

Ignorant people often times make the sickening claim that women wouldn’t be harassed or raped if they weren’t so flirty or dressed so provocatively.

In fact, according to victimsofcrime.org “1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse.” Sexual abuse amongst children is also common, which completely debunks that the victims of sexual abuse “ask for it” anyone who is sickening enough to claim that a child can be provocative is the problem.

I myself have and continue to experience sexual harassment on a very regular basis. I often find myself spending up to $40  a week on Ubers  to get home just to feel safe. Taking the bus home is so scary that it’s not even an option for me, I would rather spend a lot of money to get dropped off right at my front door than having to endure an hour of men giving me looks that completely dehumanize me, or having to walk with my phone in hand, ready to dial 911 if one of the countless men who catcall me as I walk home from the bus top tries to attack me. Walking alone anywhere is a very traumatizing experience and it shouldn’t be.

After reading this, I am sure you’re thinking, “well I’m not a sexual predator, I’ve never harassed anyone, what does this have to do with me?” Well here’s your answer, most of us will one day become parents, raising the next generation. I urge you to raise your children to be respectful of others, teach them morals and that no means no.

As of today, I urge you to not support those abusers, whether that be artists such as rapper Kodak Black who was  indicted in South Carolina on charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct or movie producers such as Harvey Weinstein and instead support the countless survivors of sexual abuse. Be more compassionate and careful with your words as you don’t know if your words, including rape jokes, could be heard by women or men who are survivors of sexual abuse.

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Fixing the sexual assault issue with more than a hashtag