Sexual assault is a serious concern
Published: Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
Each yea in the spring Boston College students mark CARE (Concerned About Rape Education) Week. This week full of events centered on sexual assault awareness, sponsored by the Women's Resource Center (WRC), is one that brings to the forefront issues that should be harped upon every day, or at the very least, every weekend, at BC. Sexual assault and rape are a serious, reality on college campuses. Though naivety to this reality is enforced by the comforting notion of the "BC Bubble" that keeps us separated from anonymous urban attacks, CARE Week reminds us that, in a large percentage of rape cases, women know their attacker. It is not to say that there are malicious men and women prowling this institution or that students should be incited to fear with regard to their social life and the intentions of their peers. No, because ironically, the true problem on this campus dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge is a lack of education on this hugely important issue. The WRC does a wonderful job of offering RAD Self-Defense Training to various student groups, and also venturing into the residence halls and even classrooms to host talks that inform students as to what sexual assault in the context of BC can look like. Unfortunately, due to a lack of funding or advertising, it seems that these programs are not reaching enough students. Students in leadership programs and a random smattering of other groups are guaranteed this training. However, unlike an informative lecture or event, sexual defense training should not be limited to a select few – it is an issue that can afflict every single person on this campus.
Therefore, we believe that if any student group wishes to host the WRC for a presentation or self-defense training, funding should be allotted to that group for such a cause. Likewise, we feel that there should be an extreme push on the part of organizations aimed at student formation to make sexual assault training available to freshmen. Freshman year is the time in their college careers, when students are unfamiliar with the dangers of the college social scene, for students to be endowed with the ability to protect themselves. Finally, as the one who is there to step in to prevent an aggressive advance or make sure a friend makes it home safely, we have the power to take small, but effective steps to prevent sexual assault. Constant joking about the hook-up culture only condones its continued existence. If we consider ourselves mature enough to assume the risk of being sexually active, then we must be mature enough to have open conversation about the effects and potential risks of this activity. Despite the fact that the University funds several talks on this issue each year – given by popular professors and student groups alike – we still aren't having the conversations that desperately need to be had. It is not enough to take our cues from media or friends who have been unfortunate enough to experience sexual assault. When it comes to the reality of sexual assault, we truly must be men and women for each other.