As you might have seen recently in the news Harvey Weinstein has been found guilty of a criminal sexual act in the first degree and third-degree rape. This man, if you can even call him that, is not the first celebrity to be convicted of something similar. Hollywood today covers up so many scandals that would clog up this article if I wrote about all of them. But today we aren’t going to talk about the corruption of Hollywood. We aren’t going to talk about Harvey Weinstein because, in my opinion, I’ve already talked about him enough.
There are statistics following sexual assault most of the victims are young between 18 and 34. Women and females are frequent victims’ 82% of all juvenile victims are female and 90% of adult rape victims are female. Transgender people have high rates of sexual assault compared to their cisgender peers. Men also suffer from sexual violence about 2.78 million men are victims of rape or attempted rape. African American woman are three times more likely to be assaulted than Caucasian peers.
Sexual violence doesn’t go away after the attack, 94% of people who are assaulted experience post-traumatic stress disorder. 70% of sexual assault victims experience severe distress. Some people are at higher risk for sexual violence this includes women, college students, women of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community. Some of those people on the list are less likely to seek support because they could face discrimination when reporting the crime.
All those statistics came from real people that were sexually assaulted and reported it. Sometimes it takes people a while to come out with the fact they are sexually assaulted. The person who sexually assaulted them could be someone higher up than them at work, someone who has power over them, and yes, even celebrities. It doesn’t matter when someone comes out with a sexual assault or a rape because what happened to them should still be taken very seriously.
So, let me clear something up before I continue. No one, and I do mean no one, is an object for someone else’s desire. I think people tend to forget that other humans aren’t on Earth for their personal benefit or their pleasure. Other people outside of yourself have personalities, souls and feelings they aren’t people you can take advantage of.
Two words need to be brought up when talking about this, those words are respect and consent. Respect is defined as due regard for feelings, wishes, rights or traditions of others. If someone is stumbling home intoxicated, that is not an invitation to do whatever you want to them. Even if they say yes, their judgement might be impaired by alcohol. Instead respect them and take them home make sure everything is OK and leave them to recover.
Women are too sexualized in the media and everyone at least should know that, but that doesn’t mean you have to mirror the media. Clothes don’t mean someone is asking for it. Clothes are a form of self-expression. Respect people and what they wear and know that when someone says no don’t say their outfit is ‘asking for it’ because clothes can’t talk.
One more thing we need to touch on with respect when it comes to sexual assault is that people are different and have different sexual orientations. Sexually assaulting someone does not mean they’ll change who they love because someone hurt them. We all need to respect that some people are different and that’s okay.
The next word that I need to define is consent. Consent is defined as permission for something to happen or an agreement to do something. What consent isn’t is when someone says no and you convince them until they say yes.
There is a really good video on YouTube called “Tea and Consent” where tea is used in place of sexual activity. An example from this video is, if someone wants tea and you brew it for them and then they decided they don’t want tea, don’t force them to drink the tea. The video is super educational and explains consent well. Consent should be taught early so that everyone understands that the word no means no and doesn’t mean anything other than no.