I recently had the pleasure of listening to Jessica Weiner (www.jessweiner.com) speak at Minnesota State Univeristy, Mankato. She spoke of sexual violence and its effect on us and those around us. She started off the night with the discussion of what sexual violence is and what the student’s perception of it was. We came to a consensus that sexual violence is any sexual act forced against someone’s will. Everyone has a story and most of them stay silent in fear of being judged or embarassed.
My story: I was a sophomore in college and was having issues with my boyfriend. I decided to break it off with him. He started calling me names, posting things on his MSN about me and making me out to be a bad person. Continued telling his friends lies about me and make me feel like shit. Afterwards of course being single caught the attention of some guys but I had stuck to it and ignored them while confiding in my friends and trying to gain my own emotional ground. One who I was confiding in was one of my guy friends who I had known since freshman year. Unfortunately I had confided in him too much. I went to his dorm room emotionally distraught and he attempted to calm me down. He popped in a movie and let me just lay there…for a little. Next think I knew his hand was down my pants and he some how forced himself on top of me trying to make out with him and force me to go further. Prior to this he had been the one who would offer me back massages only to get a feel. I didn’t let him have his way. He had gotten up to go to the bathroom and came back to find me missing. He had asked me what went on and I explained to him that it was unacceptable and it had better not happen again. After that, he refused to talk to me.
Stories like this are what can educate people. Don’t put yourself in these situations…be smart! One thing that was discussed during this event was the fact that kids are uneducated about sex whether it be that schools don’t teach it or that parents don’t educate their children well enough on the topic. Most schools teach about abstinence which I believe doesn’t do anything. Kids are still going to be curious and instead of teaching safe sex we try to teach them that sex is wrong and therefore kids have unprotected sex.
Another point that was stressed in the presentation was the different ways of saying no and knowing whether or not one can tell if the situation is good or not. Women and men alike need to learn to say no. Yes a woman may become labeled as a bitch, pussy, whore, cunt, and whatever else men use to slander them but “no” can save someone. Men may be seen as a pussy if he is still a virgin by a certain age or he may be called a man for sleeping with a certain quota. However, regardles…”no” can change the situation. Silence is not a way of saying no. “No” means no and Ibelieve everyone should find there own way of saying it and stressing it.
Some facts gained from this event:
-Most people know someone who has been or who themselves have been victims of sexual violence.
– Every 90 seconds someone in America is sexually assaulted,
-About 44% of rape victims are under age 18 and 80% are under age 30, and one in four college women will be the victim of an attempted or completed rape.
Please educate those around you that sexual violence (assault, rape, harassment, etc.) is not allowed. Explain to your friend, child, spouse, or whomever you know what “no” means and that “no” does not make you a bad person. Like I said, everyone has a story including myself and if those who do have stories are kept silent, the word will not get out and this problem will continue.