There is a strong desire to look away and think about other things, but this billboard represents a reality too common: Someone is sexually assaulted in the U. During the election cycle the term sexual assault was thrust into our everyday vocabulary. Despite the fact that sexual assault is not something we typically like to think about, much less talk about, it is an epidemic nationwide. Sexual assault is defined as unwanted sexual contact, where consent is not given freely.
People most commonly think of rape as the standard definition of sexual assault. The Wisconsin Department of Justice reported 4, sexual assaults in , the most recent year statistics were available from the department.
That number includes 1, rapes. Ninety-one percent of these assaults were committed by men. None of this should be normal. People need to understand there is a power and control over women that is everywhere.
I want women to be outraged…If we continue to treat women like second-class citizens and sexual objects women are going to be raped and sexually assaulted. Thornley Parisi has a few suggestions for individuals looking to make a difference. She suggests teaching children very early about the concept of consent. Consent is not only applicable to situations related to sex, but many circumstances throughout the day, even the day of a child.
For instance, ask before you tickle a child and respect to their response. Let children choose how they greet people, even relatives, and honor their decision. Thornley Parisi suggests open and honest communication from a very early age so that children will come to you if something is wrong. As adults, Thornley Parisi says it is our responsibility to call out others on their misogynistic jokes or comments, letting them know that we will not tolerate sexist language or conversation about women, even made in jest.
Out in public, Thornley Parisi encourages people to speak up if they see or sense something is not right. Call the police, draw attention to the situation and gather others to help you. If you sense a tense situation is just beginning, initiate a conversation with the victim. This lets the offender know that you are a friend and will protect the victim. We must value women enough to risk our own embarrassment.