Awareness: the key to prevention
Published: Friday, April 8, 2011
Updated: Friday, April 8, 2011 13:04
A Presidential Proclamation declared April 2011 to be National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.
According to the proclamation released last week, sexual assault is often believed to be the most underreported crime in America, and college-aged women are most frequently its victims.
Thankfully, the Obama administration is paying special attention to the reality of sexual assault on college campuses across the country. Vice President Biden offered eloquent words during a press conference to actively commit to ending these crimes.
On our campus, Take Back the Night events focus our attention on the fact that, historically, nighttime is considered to be unsafe for women who walk alone. A time when they can be easily attacked and sexually assaulted, even when they think they are somewhere safe.
It is reassuring to know that we live on a campus that realizes that this is a serious crime, and that there are people here who want to help and empower those who are affected by it.
The grim reality of our lives is that sexual assault still occurs. And it happens both on and off campus.
In this day and age, we would hope that a female student wouldn't constantly have to check over her shoulder as she walks home from a night class or from work, but unfortunately she often must.
Fortunately, we live in a campus community that has taken great strides to call attention to the crime of sexual assault, to educate the community and to stand up for victims, especially those who may have been afraid to raise their voices.
Awareness is the first step, and the many services and organizations on campus that deal with the issue of sexual assault make great efforts each year to educate everyone about the risks and the reality of this crime.
Amidst all the dark, we can find this bright spot in working towards a future where sexual assault isn't an issue. But until then, it's good to know that not only is the campus community on our side, but the President of the United States is, too.