Sexual assault awareness on campus

Incidents of sexual assault on college campuses have been in the news a lot lately.

Some ask why. I say, “Because we all need to be educated on this matter.”

The reality of sexual assault, both on college campuses and off, is that it affects all of us. According to the website,, which works to eliminate the excuses for domestic violence and sexual assault, 12.7 million people are physically abused, raped or stalked by their partners every year.

That is equivalent to the population of New York City and Los Angeles combined, meaning 24 people are abused every minute.

Why should everyone care about sexual assault? Because someone you know could be a survivor, and you may not even know it.

One in five women are raped in their lifetime in the United States. In addition, one in 71 men are raped in their lifetime, according to the Joyful Heart Foundation, which works to combat sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse and other similar crimes.

Another common misconception of sexual assault is that the act takes place between strangers.

In fact, the Bureau of Justice Statistics says 60 percent of survivors are assaulted by an intimate partner, relative, friend or acquaintance.

The BJS also says that rate is even higher for women who have been raped or sexually assaulted while in college.

In addition, 79.6 percent of female rape victims were under the age of 25 when the incident occurred, and 42 percent were attacked before age 18.

This puts younger people at a much higher risk of sexual assault.

Whether we want it to or not, sexual assault affects all of us. To combat this issue, we need to do more than tell people how to protect themselves from unwanted attention.

Instead of teaching young women what they shouldn’t wear to prevent rape, we should teach all men and women to respect all people. Nobody owes anyone any intimacy at all, regardless of any previous incidence of intimacy.

To fight this issue, it all starts with educating people.

Do research on websites like No More and the JHF to learn about this issue.

And do not be afraid to talk about it with others. Get them involved and educated on the matter.

Like No More’s tagline says, “Together, we can end domestic violence and sexual assault.” It all starts with educating ourselves on the matter and realizing that it affects all of us.