no exceptions

“no”

nō/

Determiner

  1. Not any.

“There is no excuse”

  1. Used to indicate that something is quite the opposite of what is being specified.

“It was no easy task persuading her”

Exclamation

  1. Used to give a negative response.

““Is anything wrong?” “No.””

“Can I touch you?” “Hell no.”

For some reason, some people cannot seem to grasp the response to the last example. Every 107 seconds, a person is sexually assaulted. This includes rape, abuse, verbal harassment, groping, forced kissing, child sexual abuse, or the torture of the person in a sexual manner. If you look at statistics, 1 out of 5 women in universities have been sexually harassed. And just a disclaimer, men can also be victims of sexual harassment but I am speaking from a girl’s point of view. Sexual harassment had its largest problem in 1993, and since then sexual harassment has fallen by 49%. This is obviously such tremendous progress but the world is still a long way away from solving this issue, and to state the obvious, everyone on this earth is on different pages when it comes to this issue.

First off, the phrase that causes steam to shoot from my ears, “did you see what she was wearing? She was asking for it”. Actually I would consider this to be the two worst phrases I have heard. Let’s break this down shall we, “did you see what she was wearing?” What my real question is, who decides what is appropriate or not appropriate to wear in public? Yes it is true that there is a time and a place where you must be modest and respect those around you but I guarantee you that these people who are becoming victims of sexual assault are not walking around naked. Women should not have to alter their style and the clothing they wear to fit what “modest” means. A girl could be covered from head to toe in clothing and still be sexually harassed. This world has become a place where people have to question every piece of clothing on their body in fear of being looked at sexually. Dressing to make yourself happy is not a crime.  Secondly, “she was asking for it”. Who in their right mind could say that and not feel like (excuse me language) a piece of shit afterwards. I mean I could understand that maybe the girl was being a tease but that does not mean she is asking to get forced into having sex. The millions of people who have been sexually harassed don’t go into a situation magically knowing that they are going to be victims. Imagine that you go out to lunch with a close friend. Everything is fine, and out of the blue he/she licks the side of your face. Are you thinking, “Geez, I should have seen that one coming! I should have known better. These things happen when you get lunch with people.” No, of course you don’t think that! You are most likely thinking, “What the hell?! Why would someone do that?! They’re crazy!” why would you ever let someone lick the side of your face it’s ridiculous!” And yeah this analogy may seem silly but it is the same thing, just because you are with a person, consent is not given to start touching someone or even speaking to someone in ways that they are not comfortable. It is sayings like these, ones the target victims instead of the perpetrators, which cause people to retain their own involvements to themselves.

I think it is true that people do not understand how it feels until it happens to them. I would never wish sexual assault upon anyone because things like this don’t leave your head. For me personally, I didn’t go through a traumatizing event such as rape but that is not the only form of sexual assault. A very close friend of mine (who I will not name) was on her way home from work on the metro. She took the same bus every day, and every day there were the same people on the bus. Unfortunately, there was a man, a sick sick man, who watched her everyday on the bus and eventually took his chance. He got off at the same stop as her and followed her down the street and when no one was around he jumped her. This friend of mine, is one of the strongest women I know and she fought, and she fought hard. She was able to get her pepper spray on her key chain, spray him, and ran away. And although he did not succeed in his primary goal, she was left with this haunting memory. Sexual Assault, should never be taken lightly because it is something that will always stay with someone. Yes, it is true that there are people who mentally cannot comprehend tasks they have committed but this is why people must be more aware of how serious the issue is. When I was about 6, I had the best of friends who all lived in the same neighborhood as I did. We would play every single day together, whether it was tag, cops and robbers, wolf are you there, we always played. I lived around the same kids for a very long time and we soon got very close with each other, and some a little more close than id like. One day while playing hide and seek, I hid with an older friend of mine and he was about 12 at the time, 6 years older than me. And we sat there, waiting and waiting for the whoever was “it” to find us. And as I stood there waiting eventually, this 12 your old boy began to put his hands on me. Being 6, I had no idea what was going on but I knew it wasn’t right so I did what I did best at the age of 6 and I screamed. This only ended up in my mouth getting covered and tears began streaming down my face. Luckily for me, my one loud scream scared him off before he got any further than touching a 6 year old’s ass. At that age, I was scared to tell anyone about what happened, I was extremely embarrassed and could even say the words “he touched my butt”. I was six for crying out loud. It was only 2 years ago that I told my mom about the situation. I’m not saying that it was traumatizing because I have witnessed worse, but I am saying that it sticks with people. I remember to this day, where I was hiding, the pants I was wearing, and the words he said to me right after.

We are a long way from the end of assault, but we can all start somewhere. Educate people on this, stand up for people if you see assault happening, even verbal. Anyone can make a difference. Because no means no and people need to understand this.

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