Sexual assault and abuse are all too common and we need to lower those numbers

Category:  Opinions
Wednesday, April 11th, 2018 at 5:35 PM

April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Child Abuse Awareness Month. During April, our goal should be to educate ourselves and other members of the community as to what actions can be considered sexual assault or child abuse, and how to prevent them. 

Each year, about 321,500 people are victims of rape or sexual assault, according to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN). The majority of those victims are between the ages of 18 and 34, with most being under the age of 30. 

On college campuses, sexual assault is extremely prominent with 11.2 percent of all students experiencing rape or sexual assault. Male students between the ages of 18 and 24 are 78 percent more likely than non-students in those age groups to experience rape or sexual assault. For every one robbery at a college campus, there are two sexual assaults. 

In their lifetimes, 1 out of every 6 women and 1 out of every 33 men have experienced an attempted or complete rape, according to RAINN. 

These numbers are too high. While sexual assault has decreased by 49 percent since 1993, we still have such a long way to go. 

Victims carry long-term effects of sexual assault for the rest of their lives. They can suffer from PTSD, face withdrawal from daily activities, or even fall into a path of substance abuse. 

Each day, we need to be vigilant — not only for ourselves, but for our friends, family members and other community members. Is your friend too drunk at a party? Take them home yourself, call an Uber or call their parents.

Do you feel an uncomfortable vibe from the stranger who is watching your friend at a restaurant? Buddy up, and don’t let that friend wander around alone.

If you witness sexually charged statements to someone, get the victim away from that person before it goes any further. 

We all can take care of each other and try to decrease the statistics by being better friends and better community members.  

If you knew you had the opportunity to prevent sexual assault, wouldn’t you?

If you are a victim of sexual assault, there are options for free and confidential services. On-campus, you can visit Student Health Services or Counseling and Psychological Services at McNerney Hall, the university police department, residence life and housing, student judicial affairs, the university ombudsperson, the social equity director/Title IX coordinator, or human resources and faculty relations. 

View Our YouTube Channel
Edinboro TV
Find Us on Instagram