By Julie M.
The issue I would like to discuss is sexual assault and assault against women. What is sexual assault? Sexual assault is the act in which a person touches another person without their permission or consent. Sexual Assault is a form of sexual violence and can be anything from sexual unwanted contact to grouping. In the past couple of months, many people have come forward to tell their stories about the unfortunate events they were put in. This is alarming to say the least because this is someone's mother, sister, daughter, or granddaughter. It does not stop at women, men too have gone through sexual assault as well. Statistically, we see that one in five women are sexually assaulted, and one in seventy-one men are faced with the same assault. These numbers are devastating and they show just how bad things have gotten. We need to fight back and help those in need especially when they can't use their own voice to fight.
We’ve been in the midst of many men and women speaking on the sexual assaults they’ve encountered. The media has been their main form of communication to let the world know their assault. We have seen countless stories of men assaulting women and the aftermath of what their life has been after the assault. Many articles ask why the person does not speak out before and waits this long to bring it to light. A lot of the sexual assault victims do not speak on their assault simply because they feel embarrassed. Another reason is that the assailant threatens to hurt them, their families, or their careers. Its horrible to not only physical damage someone, but to instill fear in them to never want to speak about it is cruel. The fear these assailants display on their victims is the main reason they do not speak out on their sexual assault, and I am sure there are many other reasons to go along with keeping quiet. The recent outbreak of sexual assault reports is from actors who finally have the courage to speak out. Their attacks may have been years ago, but the damage is still there and they know that they have the audience they need to have someone listen.
One of the biggest sexual assault cases is from the President of the United States. He is being accused of sexually assaulting a variety of different women. Donald Trump has been accused by Jessica Leeds, Mindy McGillivray, Rachel Crooks, Natasha Stoynoff, Temple Taggart, Kristin Anderson, Summer Zervos, Cathy Heller, Jill Harth, Jessica Drake, and many more. His comment regarding women have constantly caused him trouble. Donald Trump says he has respect for women, but the way he speaks about them and the things he says definitely contradict his comment. To make matters worse this is the President of the United States. He is our leader and a role model for some, but this is how he represents us all. He also acts like he has no remorse to what he has done or the words he has spoken. Another person who has been in the spotlight for sexually assaulting someone is Brock Turner. I feel like this event was one many people would remember because it hit closer to home, especially us who live in California. He sexually assaulted a woman and was only given a short period of time in jail for his actions. Aside from what he did, he now they want to appeal his conviction because it ruined his life. What about the young girl he ruined, is there no remorse for her. She cannot start over and forget what happened to her. People have these scars for life even if you cannot see them. These are the things we need to bring to light. Sexual assault and any form of it is never okay, and we need to stop pretending like it does not happen. Victims need their voices back and they need to know that people are listening.
The media has also played a very important role in bringing forth the stories of men and women. It has shown us the ugly sides of what happens to people during and after their sexual assault. The key part of the media is to help us hear their stories the way they want it to be told. It can help those who have hidden their pain to finally be able to speak out. The media tells stories that can help them find comfort or it could also possibly trigger them to relive that unfortunate event they once had. The point is that the media is starting a conversation about it because it is important for people to know their stories. We need the media to cover these types of incidents because it is something that doesn’t just go away. We need to start a discussion and figure out ways to stop this from happening. We have the power to learn from our mistakes and fix them. Especially now when it feels as though sexual assault is the new norm because so many people have gone through it. We need to make those responsible finally pay for their actions. No bad action should go unpunished and this is the perfect time to make it happen. We need to do better for our children and bring them into a world that does not carry these burdens.
Black, M. C., Basile, K. C., Breiding, M. J., Smith, S .G., Walters, M. L., Merrick, M. T., Stevens, M. R. (2011). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 summary report. Retrieved from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control: http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/NISVS_Report2010-a.pdf
Gutek, Barbara, and Mary Koss. “Changed Women and Changed Organizations: Consequences of and Coping with Sexual Harassment.” Egyptian Journal of Medical Human Genetics, Elsevier, 25 May 2002, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001879183710031.