Saturday, May 25, 2024

April marks Sexual Assault Awareness

By Bryn Fawn

Our bodies are special. We get only one, and while they might not always be what we want them to be, they’re ours. 

That is why one of the most despicable things someone can do is violate personhood. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

One in five women have experienced sexual assault and about a quarter of men have experienced some unwanted sexual touch, according to National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Most women experienced their first assault between ages 11 and 17. 

Campus has participated in raising awareness, as the Amitie Plaza in front of the Angell College Center had its trees covered in teal tablecloth. Teal is the color of the ribbon for sexual assault awareness. Organizers and volunteers wore teal t-shirts that read “Plattsburgh stands with survivors.” 

Rates of reports of assault have continued to decrease over the years, according to NSVRC.

Often, our culture does not help victims feel confident in being believed. Personalities such as Andrew Tate or Kevin Samuels have perpetuated online the belief that women are nothing but sexual gratification tools to make children with and take care of a home. 

The “alpha male” movement has swept the internet and has caused serious concern, as many young men began to look up to these misogynists. 

There is no such thing as alphas, betas or sigma males, as the philosophy is dependent on a debunked wolf study by L. David Mech. Alpha males only make themselves look like fools and predators when they put their methods into practice, such as acting dominating to random women or slut shaming. 

The mindset that women are inherently sexual deviants and cannot help but sleep around is not only incorrect but dangerous. It dehumanizes women and creates an attitude that they in fact wanted the assault. Women are allowed to have sex. Adults that are consenting are allowed to have sex. There is no moral qualm to have sex.

Victims need to be believed and have their stories heard. Anyone can be raped or assaulted. Unwanted sexual attention such as touching or comments are sexual assault. 

No means no, but so does silence, “not now,” “I don’t want to,” or any response that is not a clear and enthusiastic yes. 

If you have been assaulted, call 911 or visit University Police. UP will direct you to Title IX and the Counseling Center for resources. 

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