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The Culture of Sexual Assault

Check out the results of the survey here.

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Two weeks ago, we released a survey asking girls in Rye High School to anonymously answer 10 yes or no questions about their experiences as women in a society of sexual assault. The results, though upsetting, were not at all shocking. Every day we see stories on the news regarding sexual assault, and it’s easy to distance ourselves, as if it doesn’t affect us. That fact in itself is part of the problem because as our results showed, women everywhere are affected by a society that teaches them to “suck-it-up.”  Discrimination, harassment, and assault are not things to brush under the rug. As news stories are surfacing everywhere, women, and men, are finally speaking out, and it is time to recognize the scale of these issues.

Don’t believe the problems are everywhere? Don’t believe that girls in this community have these experiences too? The results are right there. Surprised? Women aren’t. This survey circulated among girls at Rye High, mostly upperclassmen and some underclassmen. Though our survey was only dispersed to girls in order to hear from a specific audience, harassment knows no gender. We received 109 responses, a considerable amount of people who clearly had something to say about sexual misconduct.

 

Blue means yes. Red means no. You’ll notice that there’s a lot more blue than red. Not a good thing. Only one question received more no responses than yes responses, and that was “Have you ever been sexually assaulted?(This includes anything from unwanted sexual touching to rape) Thankfully a majority of survey participants said no, but 28 Rye High students answered yes, they had been sexually assaulted.

From this point on, we need to create a community where women and girls and all victims of sexual assault/harassment feel comfortable sharing their stories without feeling like their career, reputation, or life will be ruined. We need a paradigm shift. Hollywood is not at an all time low, it is at an all time high because it is finally addressing this issue, and taking action. Movements like #MeToo and the publication of articles such as the New York Times investigation of Harvey Weinstein (which had been silenced for decades) are only the tip of the iceberg, the beginning of a change in culture. It’s time our community, our country, and the rest of the world follow suit.

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The Culture of Sexual Assault