By The Tower Editorial Board
The Tower (Grosse Pointe, Michigan)
With the third highest amount of reported rape cases in the United States according to the Detroit News, Michigan undoubtedly has a severe problem with sexual assault. Despite this fact, we believe little has been done to spread awareness in the community.
Due to the high rates of rape and recent assaults in the surrounding communities, it is even more important that South students be made aware of the possibility of sexual assault and precautionary measures that can be taken. While rape culture can never be completely killed, we believe all students should be educated on sexual assault and the ways to protect themselves.
Nearly one in five women in the United States are raped in their lifetime, according to the Huffington Post, with 40 percent of the victims being under the age of 18. With such a concerning amount of rapes occurring within the high school age, the school system should inform students on what consent really means and the self-defense mechanisms that can be used to protect oneself.
Though sexual acts of violence is touched on in the health education classes, not everyone at South takes the class. We believe that the school should take more time to educate students on consent, rape, sexual harassment and the consequences.
Multiple hour-long seminars each year would be sufficient to supply students with the knowledge they need in order to protect themselves. Though there is no foolproof way to ‘prevent’ rape, we believe that there are self defense techniques that can be used in a dangerous situation. Also, students should be educated on what it really means to consent.
With date-rape drugs on the rise today, there are increasing ways that women and men can be taken advantage of in sexually violent ways. Young adults are now at risk of being sexually assaulted without being aware that they have been drugged.
Living in a very safe and low-crime neighborhood like Grosse Pointe, it is easy to become blind to some of the everyday dangers. The recent cases of rape and assault in Detroit and Grosse Pointe prove that. It is important to be aware of one’s surroundings, even in a seemingly safe area, and having a plan of action is equally beneficial.
In addition to self defense, people should be taught from an early age that they are in control of their actions, and their actions have consequences. Both men and women should be aware that according to Michigan Law, to be considered sex, both parties must give full, conscious consent. In addition, both parties must be 16 or older.
Despite societal stigma, men are also at risk for being sexually assaulted. One in 33 men have experienced an attempted or completed rape, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN).
The only way to help lower the number of rape cases that happen every year is to educate students on the different ways to protect themselves from being taken advantage of or raped. If you have been sexually assaulted or know someone who has been, please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at (800)-656-4673.
Photo Credit: The Tower