Campus should take action against sexual assault

by News Editor Kaitlyn Davis

“I was drunk.”

“She was asking for it.”

“She’s probably lying.”

The above statements are common excuses used to debunk the claims of sexual assault victims. After all, what’s “20 minutes of action” anyway? Apparently, just three months behind bars, as former Stanford student and swimmer Brock Turner learned last week.

After assaulting a 23-year-old woman at a fraternity party in January 2015, Turner was convicted of three felony counts of sexual assault June 2. Facing up to 14 years in prison, Brock served three months of his six month sentence in jail. Not prison.

Turner blamed “Stanford’s party culture” for his actions that night, saying, “I’ve been shattered by the party culture and risk-taking behavior that I briefly experienced in my four months at school.”

One too many shots of Fireball is enough to make a man force himself inside a woman behind a dumpster at a party, forever altering her life.

But that’s OK. She probably had a short skirt on.

A woman who went to a party with her younger sister, after eating dinner with her parents, woke up in the hospital the next morning with no underwear on. The woman remains anonymous.

“I learned that my ass and vagina were completely exposed outside, my breasts had been groped, fingers had been jabbed inside me along with pine needles and debris, my bare skin and head had been rubbing against the ground behind a dumpster, while an erect freshman was humping my half naked, unconscious body,” said the victim. “But I don’t remember, so how do I prove I didn’t like it?”

The 2014 Campus Climate Survey examined students’ responses to the rape myths, “She’s asking for it, she lied and he didn’t mean to.”

In response to the statement, “When girls go to parties wearing revealing clothes, they are asking for trouble,” 27.4 percent of respondents were neutral and 13.1 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement.

Out of the 978 surveys, 29.2 percent of respondents were neutral, while 13.5 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “A lot of times, girls who say they were raped agreed to have sex and then regret it.”

Finally, in response to the statement, “Guys don‘t usually intend to force sex on a girl, but sometimes they get too sexually carried away,” 26.5 percent of respondents were neutral and 21.3 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed.

Only 7 percent of the students felt it was their obligation to learn more about sexual assault and take action against it.

Students, faculty and staff have an obligation to build up and listen to victims while doing their part to prevent sexual assault on campus by speaking out when it occurs and by using the “buddy system” at parties. No one should remain neutral on this topic.

Take action by starting conversations on how to stop victim blaming. Also, attend the upcoming Take Back the Night event in October, an event that honors survivors of sexual violence or volunteer at Safeplace, a domestic violence shelter.

Take a stand because “20 minutes of action” is not worth a lifetime of pain for the victim.