The Californian

Sexual assault needs to be addressed

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In the past couple of months, there has been an exponential amount of people, particularly in the Hollywood industry, coming forward about being sexually assaulted. 

This brought attention to the issue of sexual assault and has shown the public how prevalent an issue it has become.

Although the attention originated in Hollywood with several sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein, it is apparent that sexual assault is a much larger, broader issue concerning American culture and our society as a whole.

There have been scandals unearthed in all areas in addition to Hollywood, which include those that have led to the resignation of several senators and other governmental officials.

Even individuals that have had positions of power like the president have had multiple charges of sexual assault that were quietly dropped as seen with Jefferson, Cleveland, Nixon, Clinton, Bush, and of course, Trump.

Because sexual assault is especially prevalent in individuals that society rewards significant amounts of power to, we need to redefine how we address these cases and our election processes.

We at The Californian believe the problem is that not all people acknowledge sexual assault as completely the fault of the perpetrator, but rather partially the fault of the victim. This, in turn, causes an extreme backlash of victim shaming and sympathy for the accused.

We often approach victim’s stories with a vast amount of doubt and speculation, leading to less people telling their story. Combined with a high amount of victim shaming, it can be very difficult for people to come out with their story and it can lead to skewed statistics. In addition to being very common in the Hollywood industry, college and high school campuses also experience some of the highest rates of ssexual assault. 

Because of the nature of these instances, very little of them are reported to school reported. And when they are reported, they aren’t taken seriously. Sexual assault on campus should be taken more seriously and should be treated as a prevalent issue.

Another more mild form of sexual assault is verbal sexual harassment which is considered by some to not even count as sexual assault, which is fundamentally unjust. Verbal sexual harassment is even more common in a high school atmosphere. 

These cases are often treated as jokes. But we need to start taking them just as seriously if we expect to change the societal outlook on sexual assault. 

This can come in the form of teaching seminars in health classes or incorporating the topic into curriculum to prevent next generations from engaging in such actions. 

According to a report by Huffington Post, forty-four percent of reported sexual assaults take place before the victim is 18. One in three-to-four girls, and one in five-to-seven boys are sexually abused prior to leaving high school.

It’s time address sexual assault as the prevalent issue it is

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The School Newspaper for California High School, San Ramon CA
Sexual assault needs to be addressed