Pencil Shavings: Rape Culture has reared its ugly head on Ball State’s front door
Justice Amick is a junior news journalism major and writes “Pencil Shavings" for the Daily News. Her views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Justice at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every 98 seconds someone in the United States is sexually assaulted, according to the Huffington Post. So in the time that it takes you to read through a paragraph of this article, someone, somewhere, is getting violated.
In the seven weeks we have been in school, we have had 11 sexual assaults on campus and in affiliated areas. Not only have we had at least one sexual assault case a week, Ball State is under federal investigation for possible mishandling of a sexual assault case.
As a woman on a college campus, this makes me feel invariably unsafe.
The United States has created a rape culture, and one that is rearing its ugly head right here on our front door.
According to Marshall University's Women's Center, rape culture is an environment in which rape is common and where sexual violence against people is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture.
Ball State has been putting forth effort in helping both confirmed and possible victims get help, as well as stating that people should continue to come forward. They have also stated they are cooperating in the investigation. I appreciate this. I respect the look of effort.
However, I need more than just a few words of encouragement or support. I want to know, without a doubt, that the school I go to is doing everything in their power to stop this problem.
Ball State should not be having a sexual assault case every week. I shouldn't dread going to look at my email knowing there will be another email stating another incident has taken place. We have a pattern. We have a problem.
A problem many Americans have become desensitized to. Rape culture is interweaved into our everyday lives: in the music we listen to, the TV we watch, the jokes we make.
Rape shouldn't be funny. Movies and TV shows shouldn't elicit that woman are pliable things that can be easily used and thrown away. Men shouldn't be portrayed as hot and thriving sex pistols all the time.
Ball State is not the only campus having problems. Currently, Indiana University in Bloomington has five active federal investigation on possible mishandlings of sexual assault or rape cases.
We are looking at a local, state and national epidemic that is not going away unless we start talking about it. Actually talking about it. In depth. Behind the scenes. Doing research.
Anyone you know could have been sexually assaulted or raped in their lifetime and has never been able to heal. Anyone you know could be sexually assaulted in their lifetime and it is your responsibility as a friend to be aware of this and always know you are there for support.
I hear many people say they know the statistics but they can't really do anything.
However, you can. You can be aware. You can make sure consent is always given. You can step in when you think something inappropriate is happening. You can walk your friends home at night. You can call your friend in the morning to make sure they made it back to the right place.
Parents can start talking to their children, telling them that no means no. It doesn't mean "maybe later", it doesn't mean "I'm saying no, but I really mean yes."
It is our job as human beings to come together and support each other. Without support, we will fail. When we fail, we fail together. These are your brothers and sisters, it's time to get educated. It's time to be aware.