- I remember getting the phone call during my junior year of college. My best friend in tears. I could barely make out her words between her sobs. She had been raped in her college dorm by a guy she said was "only a friend and will ever only be a friend." She was lying on her dorm floor as she told me what happened. Her comforter, sheets, and even pillow had been confiscated by the campus police for futher testing. I could feel my heart breaking and my anger rising. Over winter break, we both reunited. I held her as we both cried. In the end, the fucking bastard, who sucked the life, the love, the happiness out of my best friend in one single night, was able to return to campus after winter break. This is fucking unacceptable. This is #NotOkay.
#NotOkay: The Beginning
- Started by Kelly Oxford, a Candian writer, asked women to share their first sexual assault experiences after Donald Trump made outrageously crude remarks about women during his presidential campaign. Oxford started the ball rolling. Oxford was only 12 when a man grabbed her inappropriately on a bus without her consent. Soon after others joined in sharing their experiences. So many responses come pouring in. It would make one's head spin. Many were very young, merely children, when they experienced their first sexual assault. Many experiences were at the hands of those they know. From family members, soccer coaches, family friends, and teachers all people that young girls should be able to trust. This unfortunately follows women throughout their lives. College should be a time for fun, new friends, learning, and independence. Not rape nor the allowance of rape culture.
Hello! Welcome to College! Should you fear these next few years of your life?
- Stemming back to the mid 1970s the idea of rape culture and its meaning came to light. Described as " the ultimate male terror against women" rape is a henious act that has become a problem in todays's society. As a college student, I feel the need to bring this issue to the masses is a vital part of beginning the process of eliminating the concept of rape culture. It is unfortunate that the college experience has become synonymous with rape culture. In an article from USA Today, a teenage boy was merely given a slap on the wrist after being accused of raping two of his classmates. The boy according to the article is a three sport athlete as if this should smooth over the fact he commited two terrible crimes. He was placed on probation. The judge was pleased that the teenager could still have the opportunity to partake in the quintessential college experience. This case among many others have sparked outrage from many who believe perpertrators are given a light treatment in the wake of a terrible atrocity they have commited.
Who are the real victims here?
- What were you wearing? How much did you drink? Are you sure you weren't leading him on? Didn't you invite him back to your room? It seems like you were asking for it with the way you were acting. These were only a handful of the questions my best friend was asked while being interrogated by campus police while trying to file a report. "I felt like I wasn't the victim. It was almost like they were trying to blame me for what had happened." Said my best friend. Colleges and Universities across America are coming to terms with the fact that rape culture is a prevelant issue that needs to be addressed. Many higher education institutions have adopted new rules and regulations to combat this problem, but they seem to be enacted when the trouble has already occurred. In "Yes Means Yes?", various instances of rape culture and sexual assault on college campuses are shared with the message that something needs to be done to help those affected or could become affected by rape culture.
"There has to be zero tolerance." USA Today
- A recent case that hit close to home was that of a violent gang rape at Ramapo College in Mahwah, New Jersey since I attend Rowan University ( a fellow R NJ school) I was in shock. The victim went to a party expecting to have a little fun. Alcohol was provided and pushed upon female partygoers. The victim became intoxicated and was eventually brought to a room where she was sexually assaulted without her consent. The victim was even moved from the frat house to a dorm where people took turns raping her. No one ever intervened. Not campus security or a bystander. No the victim was put on display and made into a joke. Occurences like these can make your blood boil. It makes you want to SCREAM!
- Well besides screaming ( which can be a great stress reliever) you can help stop the act. Educate yourself, educate others like your family, friends, passerby, heck even tell your dentist during that routine checkup. Know that you are not alone. No one is ever truly alone. I am here. Others are here. There are strength in numbers. In "The Debate: How Should College Campuses Handle Sexual Assault?", many famous celebrities, political figures, and survivors share the mutal feeling that is is beyond time to take action against rape culture. "You don’t want tobe a school that mishandles rape. Guess what? Step up. It’s time. It’s absolutely time because the moral disapprobation of society is the most powerful tool for effecting change."- Vice President, Joe Biden. Right on Joe!
- It is time. It is time for a change. Please join the conversation. Be a friend. Lend a shoulder to cry on and a voice that shouts above the rest that proclaims rape culture is unacceptable. Rape culture in college is #NotOkay