Sexual Assault Month lifts awareness

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Sexual Assault Month, which is dedicated to the month of April has arrived, bringing with it a promoted awareness and a need for people to understand just what sexual assault is and how to deal with and prevent it from happening.

Sexual assault is an issue that exists all throughout the world. It is present in every country, and unfortunately happens regularly. Every year around 237,868 become victims of sexual assault.

While there are so many reported events of sexual assault, even more are unreported.

60 percent of sexual assaults are not reported to police.

At LB there have not been any recent reports of sexual assault, however, the reason for this could be because they haven’t been reported.

“If there are victims, they’re not coming forward,” counselor Deb Brown said. “It’s almost a secretive thing in that they’re likely embarrassed and they blame themselves, which is common.”

The issue with not coming forward not only lies in the fact that the perpetrator is not apprehended, but it leads them to think that their actions were alright or that it wasn’t actually sexual assault.

“I’ve seen it happen,” freshman Joey Ey said. “Not so much as an act but as a joke, but it still bothers people.”

One of the biggest issue with sexual assault is that often times most people don’t know when an act of sexual assault has been committed.

“I don’t think that they’re aware of it at all,” Ey said. “I think that guys don’t see it as sexual assault but rather as flirting.”

This is a large part of why LB takes part in Sexual Assault Awareness Month, to educate the students on exactly what it is and how to prevent it from happening.

“We are working with students to try and put things on the Morning Bru about sexual assault,” Brown said. “We also put posters around the school to spread the word and to get students to be more aware.”

There are many ways to get students to be more aware of sexual assault, but one of the simplest ways is to just explain what exactly it is.

“[It would be helpful] to clarify what actual sexual assault is,” Ey said, “because I don’t really think that people understand just what it is.”

Sexual assault can be defined as verbal, visual or any physical act that makes a person join in unwanted sexual contact or attention.

“We’re introducing it as a part of education so that students are aware,” Brown said. “I don’t think that they think it happens here.”

Another aspect of making people more aware is to promote ways in which students can combat it or prevent it from happening.

“We always tell kids to go with their gut,” Brown said. “If they feel a situation isn’t right then they should get out of there.”

While knowing when to remove oneself from a bad situation is important, it is also important to think ahead and avoid dangerous situations.

“Students also need to be smart and not put themselves in a dangerous situation,” Brown said.

With luck, after a month of educating students on the dangers and prominence of sexual assault, LB’s students will be left with much more knowledge and, as a result, become safer as a community.

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