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Trigger warning: What is assault?

Sexual assault is a real thing in this world.

It’s not a lie or some myth you hear about during summer nights around the bonfire. It’s a real thing we need to be educated about.

First, let’s talk about what sexual assault is. It’s not necessarily rape, but any form of physical sexual harassment such as touching someone forcibly without their permission.

Here’s a myth about sexual assault: It only happens to women. This is not true. Men can and have been sexually assaulted. Men can be sexually assaulted by other men or women. Women can also be sexually assaulted by other women. Gay men are often victims of sexual violence and assault by other men. Other examples of sexual assault are: Penetration of the victim’s body (also known as rape), attempted rape, forcing a victim to perform sexual acts, such as oral sex or penetrating the perpetrator’s body fondling or unwanted sexual touching.

What’s crazy is that not all sexual assaults happen by force. Force doesn’t always refer to physical pressure. Perpetrators may use emotional coercion, psychological force or manipulation to coerce a victim into non-consensual sex. Some perpetrators will use threats to force a victim to comply, such as threatening to hurt the victim or their family or other intimidation tactics. A perpetrator of the sexual assault is typically someone that the victim knows. Approximately two-thirds of sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim, such as in the case of intimate partner sexual violence or acquaintance rape.

The term “date rape” is sometimes used to refer to acquaintance rape. Perpetrators of acquaintance rape might be a date, but they could also be a classmate, a neighbor, a friend’s significant other, or any number of different roles.

It’s important to remember that dating, instances of past intimacy or other acts like kissing do not give someone consent for increased or continued sexual contact.

In other instances the victim may not know the perpetrator at all. This type of sexual violence is sometimes referred to as stranger rape. Stranger rape can occur in several different ways.

Blitz sexual assault is when a perpetrator quickly and brutally assaults the victim with no prior contact, usually at night in a public place,

Home invasion sexual assault is when a stranger breaks into the victim’s home to commit the assault.

Contact sexual assault is when a perpetrator contacts the victim and tries to gain their trust by flirting, luring the victim to their car or otherwise trying to coerce the victim into a situation where the sexual assault will occur.

It is very important that you take precaution, no matter what age you are as sexual assault has no bearing on age.

Students attending college currently need to be careful especially.

I have a friend who is gay and was sexually assaulted by a straight male one night while he was out exploring downtown BG. Sexual assault isn’t always about sexual attraction, it’s about power and dominance.

We need to come together as a community to stop sexual assault.

What’s also crazy is that not many victims come forward. Instead they blame themselves.

No matter who you are, no one has the right to assault you.

Some tips for avoiding sexual assault are using the buddy system when going out with friends and calling for an escort if necessary. Getting a rape whistle or pepper spray is also another good tactic to protect yourself.

I have also considered getting a rape whistle as I am just as much at risk as everyone else of being sexually assaulted.

If you witness sexual assault, SPEAK UP! Call for help. No matter what you do, don’t let it happen!

If you need someone to talk to, you can reach the University’s Counseling Center at 419-372-2081.

Respond to Torrance

at [email protected]

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