I think that sexual assault and violence needs to be publicized more than it has been in the past. People need to realize that sexual assault has lasting, damaging physical and emotional effects on its victims. I think recent cases have made victims less willing to report sexual assaults. This is a major problem. Law enforcements-- both campus and city run-- need to make the victimes feel safe and comfortable. Victims need to know that what happend to them was not their fault. Recent happenings have made reporting assault crimes difficult and complicated for victims. This is a problem because it has potential to make victims feel helpless in their current situations. They need to be listened to and taken seriously, and I think all assault crimes should be dealt with by law enforcement only-- not student-run honor courts. In my opinion, students are in no position, by any means, to make decisions concerning the fates of other victimized students. I hope the media's publication of this specific case will lead to changes in how sexual assault/violence victims are treated.
Sexual assault and harassment needs to be talked about. It cannot be a taboo anymore because there are too many victims that have kept silent due to the social stigma they may face if they speak out. The young woman who demanded that someone listen to her and support her should be commended and not reprimanded. If women become punished for situations that they could not even prevent, then this society is not moving forward in the right direction. This case was very important because she did not back down. Other women and men, younger and older, should be encouraged, not discouraged, to speak out. This case can also create change in other universities for how they handle these situations. They should not sweep it under the rug because it does not concern them. They should show their support for women and men who have been assaulted and harassed and let them know that it is okay to talk about it and that it is not their fault. There are way too many people who are keeping these instances as secrets. We, as a society, need to help them speak out and lift this burden.
I agree with Sarah's comments. I think sexual assault is such a powerful and polarizing issue that many times people try to stray away from it. It is extremely difficult, especially on a college campus, to find a balance which both allows the victim to feel comfortable enough to report the crime, and ensures the person charged with the assault has a fair and through trial. It's obviously hugely important to make sure that victims feel safe and secure in reporting the crime, but if you place too much focus on helping the victim, there will undoubtedly be fall out for the accused individuals before they have had an opportunity to defend themselves in a fair trial. It's vital that whatever policy is put in place, that policy provides a safe way for victims of sexual assault to report the crime and anonymity of the accused until all trial processes are completed. While that is obviously extremely difficult to do, it has to be accomplished to slow down and stop sexual assault on college campuses.
"Talking" is the key word here. We like to think that in this day and age we are a society that does not discriminate nor marginalize. Yet, victims of sexual assault seem to be a group still heavily discriminated against. Victim blaming and a culture where women are taught how "not to get raped" perpetuates this pattern of sweeping sexual assault under the rug. It's also not a comfortable topic to discuss, and like Carson said, is incredibly polarizing. The only way to change the culture. . .to change the prejudice, is to be vocal and have conversations.
As a friend of someone who just experienced sexual assault this year, I could not agree with this quote more. Many times in these cases, the blame gets put back on the victim in attempts to make the issue go away or pretend like a solution has been found. It is such a taboo topic that our society thinks should be hushed- until it happens to you or someone you love. I believe we need to activate citizens who consider themselves uninvolved or unaffected by this issue to help raise awareness, because the victims in these cases are typical people just like them.
Talking about sexual assault and sexual harassment should not be a taboo anymore. People need to be more aware about these problems and realize that it could happen to them as also. To create a “nationwide change”, we need to start from an individual level in a smaller community, like a college campus. Although, it is difficult to find a balance for both sides to be protected and comfortable in talking as Carson mentioned, it has to be accomplished I strongly believe that this change in individuals will create a safer and better environment for the students in the future.
Annie Clark is absolutely right in saying that the UNC sexual assault case can be a catalyst for a nationwide change for us as a country to start talking about sexual assault and sexual harassment. It's disgusting to think that this could be so rampant and so underreported on a university campus - a prestigious university nonetheless. The fact is if it was and is happening at Carolina, it most definitely is also occurring on college campuses across the country. This is our time to speak up. Sexual assault and rape is not a taboo conversation, it is serious. We need to stop letting rape culture be acceptable. Girls should never be slut-shamed or made to feel inferior. They are victims, not "asking for it." I hope one day soon this issue will be resolved on our own campus and even greater so across all campuses.
Annie Clark is right.
I love this statement made by Annie Clark. I could not believe that our university even made a student feel like they weren't spreading enough awareness around campus. As a female, I believe that sexual harassment/assault is a very important subject. You Go Annie!!
I feel that Annie's comment shows the changing mentality of the student body towards important issues such as this. The fact that UNC can rise above issues such as this, and then use them as a springboard for social awareness is a testament to the university's power. I'm proud to see our university rising above conflict, and using it as a teaching tool.