Home Opinion Columns “Sexual assault should, and can be stopped.”

“Sexual assault should, and can be stopped.”

GRCC Sign in Front of Ford Fieldhouse

Three Michigan State University football players, now former football players, were charged with sexual assault and as a result, dismissed from the program.

This atrocity highlights the “campus culture” that some students and many parents are terrified about.

According to RAINN.org, 11.2 percent of graduate and undergraduate college students experience sexual violence through force, violence or incapacitation (use of drugs and/or alcohol). Women, aged 18-24 that are in college are three times more at risk to be attacked sexually.

The data shows that 23.1 percent of female undergraduate students are sexually assaulted, compared to 5.4 percent of undergraduate male students.

And 4.2 percent of students have been stalked since they entered college.

Quite frankly, any of these numbers being above 0 percent is unacceptable.

As men, we need to learn that getting someone drunk, or high and taking advantage of them, or attacking them sexually will only lead to trouble.

Take the three ex-Michigan State football players for example. These guys had it all going right for them, they were in a great football program and were considered “big men” on campus.

They were not untouchable and will one day have to face the consequences from their actions. No matter how special they think they might be.

No doubt, it is a difficult conversation to have with your boys, or “squad”. In the heat of the moment especially, it’s not especially “cool” to say, “hey man, knock it off.” A number of variables can make that situation even more difficult: size of the other person, intoxication levels and the potential for violence can turn a bad situation down-right dangerous.

In the scary and troubling situations is when you have to stick to your gut feeling and know that you are going to do the right thing.

Obviously, not all men are perpetrators and not all women are victims, likewise, not all victims are women. One in 33 boys or men have experienced sexual assault in their lifetime, be it attempted or completed.

Sexual assault is a disgusting crime and it can be stopped, if people look out for one another.

The Student Alliance at Grand Rapids Community College put up a series of flyers that pushed the sentiment that, “if it’s not a yes, it’s a no.”

Some men think that sexual assault and sexual violence is seen as “powerful” or “manly,” when it reality it is pathetic and the opposite of manly. The most manly or powerful thing that you can do is to step in and help someone in danger escape from violence or help one of your friends not throw their lives away.

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