[EduBirdie.com is an academic aid and professional writing service designed to support both students and teachers. The excerpt below from Study Tips & Tricks provides valuable information on how to recognize and deal with sexual assault on a college campus. With many students heading back to university this week, it is urgent that we continue to focus on this issue.]
Regardless of the progress that society has reached in the 21st century, there are still a lot of issues the society is suffering from. Thousands of students are forced to deal with the problem of sexual assault on campuses throughout the United States. The latest survey shows that 19% of all sexual contacts on American college campuses were not precedented by consent from both parties. This is a huge percentage of forced sexual assaults we are talking about. American students are being raped, and this issue has to be dealt with as soon as possible. Unfortunately, it is not that easy because the very victims of the assaults are afraid of reporting them, fearing the social stigma that such a report might entail for them. In this article, we are going to talk about actions to take in resolving this obnoxious problem.
What Is Sexual Assault?
The first thing that you have to do before embarking upon the process of resolving any problem is defining what the problem actually is. When talking about sexual assault, there are no exceptions out of the general rule. Hence, the commonly-accepted term for sexual assault is:
An act of sexual assault may refer to sexual contact or any kind of sexual behaviour that occurs on a non-consensual basis. In cases of sexual assault, there is a victim and an offender or a group of offenders. The sexual assault might intervene in many forms, including attempted rape, sexual touching, forced oral sex, etc.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of information on sexual assault, American students are not able to report on the cases of sexual harassment because they might not even know or recognize the fact that they have become the victims of it. Sexual misconduct can take many forms, and there is a need to tackle the issue without further ado.
Why and How Often?
A non-consensual sexual contact is not something that happens out of the blue on campuses all around the United States. What is more, the ultimate myth that only women can become victims of sexual violence is nowadays being erased by the neoteric reality of college life. In accordance with the latest statistic, only 26% of women report having been raped or sexually assaulted. Also, 23% of the representatives of the LGBTQ community have reported on the acts of sexual violence against them. Finally, only 7% of men do not fear to report about becoming the victims of sexual crimes. The percentage of those who are simply afraid to speak up is huge, and there is no corresponding reaction from the government that would ensure that people have somewhere to go, not even after but prior to becoming the victims of sexual assault.
Those, who think that the problem does not exist in a manner it is being portrayed by the media, should, probably, know that in accordance with the latest report by the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), 11,2% of all American students of the last ten years have been the victims of sexual assault of various forms, ranging from forced rape to undesired touching. What is more, the very same report indicates that nearly 5% of all American students have been stalked over the course of the last ten years.
Finally, one’s affiliation to campus boosts a person’s jeopardy of becoming a victim of sexual crime. RAINN claims that male and female college students aged between 18-24 are 78% and 20%, respectively, more likely to fall the victims of sexual assault of any kind or even rape. So, the question is, why is there nothing being done about it?
There is no basis for perception for such people in the society, and this is why the problem is still so acute in modern America. How can the law enforcement agencies deal with the problem if they are not even told about the causes of its emergence? Impunity breeds crime: and this is the principle that needs to be taken into consideration when dealing with the issue.
Ways to Protect Yourself and Prevent Assault
- The first and foremost strategy to be applied here is to start talking about the issue. The problem continues to exist simply because the perpetrators are not afraid to attack people knowing that they are not going to get punished for it.
- Start organizing on your campus and make sure that everybody knows that the problem of sexual assault is not going to be docked down any longer.
- It should be acknowledged that your physical resistance might be key in actually reverting the attack. Make sure to buy yourself a pepper spray and carry it with you. Also, you might want to check the privacy setting of your social media accounts as it will surely decrease the perpetrator’s knowledge of your common routes.
- Finally, keep your dorm room door shut properly at night and make sure that you do not consume any substances offered to you by strangers at college parties. Remember, maximum precaution leads to maximum safety.
How to Deal with Being a Victim of Sexual Assault?
- Take care of your health first. At the hospital, as soon as you report being raped, you will receive proper medical attention.
- You will be given the Sexual Assault Forensic Exam kit as it will serve as your pivotal evidence against the perpetrator.
- Report the assault to the university or college administration.
- Report the assault to the police of any local law enforcement authority. You should know that there is a special protocol that those services will follow in order to deal, let you feel protected and secure.
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