There has been a lot of chatter lately about Brock Turner and the Stanford rape1 case. Which from what I can gather has some issues about how it was handled, but I am not going to dive into that because you can go to any media outlet and find a thousand different opinions about the case. What I am going to talk about is the larger issue at hand.
I receive a lot of junk emails from Texas A&M. By junk I mean campus wide mailing lists that I am apart of to invite me to some organization’s big charity event, or participate in some psychological study. One type of email that I get an annoying amount of is crime alerts from the University Police Department. These are annoying not because I am getting another email, but because of the subject matter within it. Every other week I get another sexual assault alert. About how some freshman in a dorm was raped or assaulted by an acquaintance. The email is almost always identical, just changing the time of day and location of the attack.
20% – 25% of women are sexually assaulted2 during their four years in college. That means when parents drop their daughter off at college and leave her with her three other suit mates in the dorm, one of those girls will be assaulted, probably by a “friend”, before they have the chance to walk across the graduation stage. If you’re in public go ahead and look up from your phone or PC and count four women. One of them was sexually assaulted or will be sexually assaulted. Eerie, I know.
22.5% (average of 20 and 25) is slightly higher than the national average of 20% women being sexually assaulted in their life (versus the short four-year span of college). Which makes me wonder, college is supposed to be a place of higher education. Education that is more advanced than a simple high school diploma. Therefore, to even be accepted into college nevertheless graduate, you have to be somewhat intelligent. Surely smart enough to understand what the word no and stop means. So why is the rate for college students higher than the national average? Maybe my generation is a generation of book smarts that can understand Newtonian Mechanics but not common manners.
So working on a college campus I tested this theory to see if the issue was rooted in a misunderstanding on what the word no meant. Being a lifeguard, AKA the fun suckers, I probably say no 10 times an hour, and surprisingly enough aside from the defiant professors, when I say no people would stop their actions and not even challenge me. Therefore, the college students understand what no means.
If students understand the word no, how can so many women still be assaulted by unwanted sexual advances? I am no sociologist or psychologist and after 5 minutes of research I have come to the realization that this is a complicated issue involving a plethora of factors and cannot be remedied by a simple solution. Why? Because this world has some evil, selfish, and vial people. My hope is that one-day people will be able to get out of the selfish cocoon they live in, and have a mutual respect for the human race. Especially college students who are commonly referred to as, “The future of our country.” Which as of now, that future looks grim.
Until this world changes, we need more people like the grad students at Stanford, people to step in. When they saw something weird going on, they didn’t keep riding their bikes and mind their own business. They investigated and stopped Brock Turner before he could become a full rapist under California law.
So I challenge you to stand up and step in when you see something that is not right. Fight for those that cannot fight for themselves. And do the right thing. As always; make good choices, share if you like what I said, comment if you have something to add, and I will see you on Tuesday.
1 Under California law he technically did not rape her, but in other states his actions are considered rape. It’s a complicated matter that’s irrelevant because what he did was vial regardless of the legal term it is called.
2 Sexual assault meaning anything from forced and unwanted sexual contact all the way to full out rape. Or as Brock Turners father would put it, “20 Minutes of action.”(seriously I can’t make this up) So no, not one out of every four women are raped, but then again what Brock Turner did wasn’t “technically” rape, yet his actions were still vial and traumatizing enough to “make his favorite meal of steak not appetizing anymore.” (Witness testimony from Brock’s father.) So if it’s that hard on the assaulter, I cannot imagine how hard it is on his victim.
This is not APA or MLA or anything like that (sorry to all my English teachers). This is simply a list where I did my research so that you know that the crazy statistics and quotes I found are authentic.