A Call for Sexual Assault and Harassment Awareness Action

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Updated: Feb 12, 2022
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A Call for Sexual Assault and Harassment Awareness Action essay

“You’re not a victim for sharing your story. You are a survivor setting the world on fire with your truth. And you never know who needs your light, your warmth, and raging courage’ is a quote by Alex Elle. These words represent the fight for every person who has undergone pain, trauma, and has survived from sexual assault and harassment across American university campuses and around the world. When it comes to the topics of sexual assault and harassment, they are often “widespread and underreported,” stated by Jenelle M. Beavers et al in the academic article Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, as well as stigmatized. For many survivors, victims, and even individuals, sexual assault and harassment are conflicting and distressing experiences. These two subjects need to be addressed in order to break down societal barriers and stigmas to improve cognizance. College campuses must help solve the stigma of sexual harassment and assault through workshops and educational courses dedicated to breaking down the barriers of sexual harassment/assault from rape culture. Other measures include: weekly spotlights for overall awareness, working with organizations on campuses to understand the stigmas and how this topic can be prevented more, and providing services for victims/advocacy in general to achieve a unified program for current and future students.

On many college campuses, people have suffered from some type of non-consensual harassment or assault. People do not always understand what “non-consensual” means. The definition has changed on campus over the years. Sexual assault can be defined as non-consensual touching, groping, or any unwanted contact, while sexual harassment is focused on catcalling, “unwanted sexual advances or innuendos” (Beaver et Al, 1.), brushing up against another person in an unwanted manner, graphic materials, sexual favors or requests, and general coercion and threats. Additionally, one in five women and one in sixteen men will have experienced some form of sexual assault or harassment on their college campuses. (Beavers et al, 1.) In other words, an adequate number of people have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or both. To continue with, a lot of sexual harassment and assault derail from assumptions such as blaming the victim for what they wore, the amount of alcohol or drugs they may have possibly congested, or the person did not say “no.” Such assumptions are dangerous to victims as it creates self-victimization and contributes to harmful societal stigmas. Additionally, stigma comes from lack of discussion and underreporting as many victims feel “self-stigma” – shame, guilt, and embarrassment” (Beavers et al, 1.) from what they experienced and from what society often places around survivors.

According to the academic journal Teaching Theology & Religion, the authors Rhiannon Graybill et al state “less than 5 percent of on-campus sexual assaults are reported to police, university reporting and disciplinary procedures are often victimizing as well.” Victims often blame themselves and there’s often a fear that their “family, friends, or even the police” will blame them for being assaulted or harassed. (Beaver et al.) To conclude with, a lot of sexual harassment and assault cases are dropped or do not come to fruition due to stigmas and the fact that many perpetrators go free: “factoring in unreported rapes, about 6% – 1 out of 16 – of rapists will ever spend a day in jail. 15 out of 16 will walk free,” according to the website SARSOnline. Additionally, various survivors often drop out of school and deal with a mixture of anxiety and depression for numerous years. Nightmares, guilt, and stress often occur in day-to-day life. In order to create a unified solution for victims of sexual harassment and assault and help prevent future attacks through awareness, college campuses must adhere by improving policies and services for survivors, have workshops and courses dedicated to understanding what rape culture is, how to help victims, and what can be done to improve reporting cases, working with organizations and members to break down stigmas, as well as possible daily or weekly spotlights about these topics into a singular program.

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A Call for Sexual Assault and Harassment Awareness Action. (2022, Feb 12). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/a-call-for-sexual-assault-and-harassment-awareness-action/