With the release of “50 Shades of Grey,” a lot of people have been talking about sexual assault and domestic violence. I was recently out one weekend and noticed that a freshman girl (whom I had never met before) was clearly incoherent. She was being taken advantage of by a guy, while other guys were cheering him on. My heart fell into my stomach and I knew that I had to do something. I didn’t want to cause a big scene so I went up to the girl, tapped her on the shoulder and asked her if she wanted to come to the bathroom with me. We got to the bathroom and she began to cry and tell me that she didn’t know how to say no because she was just a freshman. I offered her a ride home but she told me that she would wait for her friends who were leaving soon.`
I told the story to my friends after the fact and a lot of people were proud of me for taking a stand and not being a bystander to sexual assault. I’m thankful that they’re proud but isn’t that the right thing to do? Why does it have to be a rare occurrence to help girls who are put into that situation? Why wouldn’t everyone step in and say something?
Don’t Just Stand By
I encourage you to be empowered and not be a bystander! If you can tell that a person feels uncomfortable or cannot consent, please step in. It is never okay to take advantage of any person because we all have self-worth and deserve to be treated as such.
In the infamous rape case in Steubenville, OH concerning a high school girl, multiple people were bystanders and chose to do nothing as this girl was repeatedly sexually assaulted. It is better to step in and say something then to take the chance and have something awful happen. I promise you, no person will ever be mad that you took the moment to ask them if they were okay. Do not be afraid of how others will judge you. I urge you to do what is right.
Additionally, please note that not every sexual assault case involves alcohol. The victim may not physically be able to get away from the perpetrator. If you see something, you need to say something. Imagine if the girl I told you about was your sister, your best friend, or even you. What would you do?
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