School newspaper of Academy of the Holy Names, Tampa

Sexual Harassment: Speaking Up (EDITORIAL)

October 25, 2017

On college campuses, only five percent of sexual assault crimes are reported.

Photo Credit: Françoise Corser/ Achona Online

On college campuses, only five percent of sexual assault crimes are reported.

In the last couple of years, sexual harassment stories have surfaced and women are speaking up now more than ever; artists are composing songs, olympians and dancers are sharing their personal stories, and victims are uniting to fight the normalization and silence of sexual harassment. We have been going to high school in a sheltered environment where we are not objectified, shamed, cat called, or degraded, but Academy cannot protect us from these realities outside of their doors. We must be aware that as these acts are being committed, more and more women are being victimized and we must learn to speak up before, when, and after any form of abuse, harassment, or degradation occurs.   

Photo Credit: Françoise Corser/ Achona Online
The first link that appears when searching “How women should prevent rape” is a popular website portraying false information that normalizes and belittles sexual violence.

A new campaign that encourages women to share their stories about sexual harassment or abuse has surfaced and many women are taking it upon themselves to post “#metoo”, bringing awareness to sexual harassment that women have kept secret due to embarrassment or shame. This movement unites both women who have and have not been sexually harassed in their life and it encourages girls to speak up for themselves and against the normality and silence of sexual harassment.

There are high numbers of male misconduct towards women in the workplace, young girls are being objectified at the mall by older men, teenage athletes bypassing rape charges because they have money and talent; this silent, oppressive, and sexually abusive culture must be discontinued. We must create a society that we would want our children to be raised in but by remaining silent about any type of sexual discomfort imposed on by a man or anyone else, we are nodding our heads to the normalization of this atrocious social understanding.

Photo Credit: Françoise Corser/ Achona Online
In moving forward as progressive young women in society, there are actions that we can take not only to stay safe, but to address and be a part of fixing the oppressive and silenced abuse system that has lurked in society for far too long.

As the women who will soon lead the way and become the new faces of the world, we must unite to banish the culture of sexual harassment. This culture break is not about experience or complete understanding, but about the prevention, unity, and understanding of sexual assault, harassment and abuse in honor of the women who have experienced it and have been brave enough to speak up.

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