Almost every day in the last two weeks, I’ve seen something regarding recent sexual assaults on campus, whether in a Minnesota Daily article, a Facebook status or an official University of Minnesota police report. As a survivor of sexual assault, it makes me absolutely sick to read.
A dry-house policy might help. But that’s not addressing the root of this issue, which is raising awareness and promoting education about sexual assault. We cannot simply accept that sexual assault happens and respond by encouraging women to not walk alone at night, not go to those types of parties, etcetera.
Those are valid points of concern; however, why aren’t we focusing on why the assaults are committed? Why aren’t we looking at the gender roles students are unhealthily and unknowingly boxed into every day? Why aren’t we educating young men and women about what sexual assault really is and how they can help prevent it?
As the Aurora Center — a campus resource for victims of sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking and harassment — says: the challenge for all men and women is to “choose not to contribute to the culture of violence, and instead, work for equality.”
Now is the time to move forward as a campus and learn more about sexual assault prevention. Do some online research, attend an Aurora Center presentation, start conversations with friends and family about their views on the matter. Greek or non-greek, every student needs to work together to ensure this type of crime never occurs again.
Melissa Shauer, University student
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