Sexual Assault: It Needs to Stop

To those accused that are guilty - it needs to stop. To those victims that are lying - you should have never started.

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Sexual assault is a problem–an unfortunate and all too common problem. If you personally haven’t been assaulted, then you probably know someone close to your heart that has.

Sexual assault has been taking over the recent news cycle for some awful reason, this poor temptation is in high demand for politicians and celebrities. Just recently stories accusing actor Kevin Spacey, director Harvey Weinstein, Alabama Senate Candidate Roy Moore, Congressman Joe Barton, Senator Al Franken, and Congressman John Conyers have all popped up on my phone as news alerts.

In a New York Times op-ed criticising modern day feminism, American Enterprise Institute scholar Christina Hoff Sommers, uses the term “victim feminism” as an exaggerated sexual assault problem. Under this school of thought, she believes that innocent presumptions have turned into “guilty because accused.” She points out that modern-day feminism views women as oppressed and weak. Also, while all these assault cases may be true, it is essential to be 100% sure that the women and men reporting assaults are telling the truth. The truth is crucial to determining whether one is or is not a victim, and whether or not the accused is guilty or not. Is the truth too much to ask for?

I want to clarify my viewpoint in this article so my readers can understand where I am coming from. I believe it is important for me to add that I, personally, would never say or assume that any victims of sexual assault are lying. I have friends who have dealt with sexual assault, so the issue is not foreign to me. I am, however, not immune to the idea that some “accusers” may be speaking up for some sort of attention. False accusations can still ruin a person’s life, so it is crucial that we make sure any sexual assault accusation is true. While finding the truth to these cases may be a challenging course, just as sexual assault can forever harm the mentality of those assaulted, media abuse and attention-seekers can forever harm the mentality of those falsely accused. Sexual assault is not a game, but there are some sick people who behave like it is.

On November 27, Senator Al Franken apologized for his misconduct to the women that accused him of sexual assault. While he claimed that some of the accusations he had no memory of, he decided to apologize for them anyways in the hopes that these women would forgive him. Franken understands that it will take time to gain back the public’s trust, but he is determined to putting these accusations in the past, and getting back to work. We may never know exactly what happened. Four women made accusations, and we have no clue whether or not all are true. However, Al Franken felt obligated to apologize for his memorable and trivial behavior. At this point, whether or not the accusations are true, this will effect him for the rest of his life like it has for the four women.

How much longer will it take for these cases in Hollywood and politics to influence college campuses? Or our neighborhoods? With modern day feminism or “victim feminism,” of course it’s easy to believe all women are victims especially when society views them as the weaker and oppressed figure. We are better than this. Sommers believes that college campuses should begin administrative training for sexual assault cases, and training for students to avoid becoming victims. We never know when an issue like this will hit close to home, and instead of waiting for a sexual assault issue, we must be like Sommers and strive to prevent these cases.

To those accused that are guilty – it needs to stop. To those victims that are lying – you should have never started.