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Sexual assault (and specifically “date rape”) is a very serious and prevalent topic in modern American society. It’s important that this topic be discussed with the youth of today. Drug-facilitated sexual assault, or “date rape”, happens when alcohol or drugs (or some combination) are used to incapacitate an individual, keeping them from being able to give consent to have sex. This kind of sexual assault has become very prominent on college campuses (causing 16-24 year olds to be 4 times more likely to be sexually assaulted than any other women), which is why it’s necessary to talk to educate kids that are in the 14-18 year old age group about it.
Informing this age group of kids about the problem of sexual assault and date rape in the years before they go to college prepares them for the time in their lives when they typically have to deal with it. If kids going into college are educated about the problem of date rape, they will be prepared to watch out for signs of date rape, and possibly much less date rape will occur.
them is that there are many ways to look for/notice signs of it, and possibly prevent it from happening. Kids also need to be educated about the sexism that currently exists in society and in part causes rape culture to continue to be as prominent as it is.
While sexual assault and date rape are an unfortunate part of society, there are things everyone can do to mitigate the risk of this happening. First of all, it is important to remember that it is never the victim’s fault, and that no matter what actions or inactions they take, they are never “asking for it.” Instead of blaming victims, it’s important to create an environment that vilifies the actions of the perpetrators and gives support for the victims.
One way to diminish the risk of an assault or date rape occurring is by understanding that silence does not equal consent. Consent only occurs when an agreement occurs and all parties are of sound mind. Consent may be given and taken away, so kids should be taught that if someone says yes to sexual contact and then changes their mind, their previous consent is no longer valid. It is also important for individuals to take responsibility of their own sexuality, and not to let society, a relationship, or anyone else define it. This matters because in order for someone to have healthy relationships and not become a victim of sexual assault, they need to know themselves enough to be aware of what they want sexually and what they are comfortable with when it comes to sex with partners of their choosing.
Alcohol and drugs are often present in cases of sexual assaults and date rape, and it is important for everyone to keep an eye out for their own safety and the safety of others during risky situations, such as at parties or at bars. It is also important to understand that consent cannot be given when either parties are inebriated or under the influence of drugs. As stated before, it is also important to know that the majority (about 4 out of 5) of assaults are perpetrated by someone the victim previously knew. No one should let their guard down because they think being with people they know makes them safe.
As society, there are many ways to reject and attempt to get rid of rape culture. 82% of juvenile sexual assault victims are females, and it is the responsibility of both men and women to lower this statistic. One thing society can do is empower women, and stop objectifying them in pornography, sporting events, and the media. Young people (specifically young men) need to be taught that it’s not okay to make jokes about rape, domestic violence, or even negative stereotypes about women. This common kind of behavior feeds rape culture by making it acceptable to degrade women.
Not only is this behavior currently practiced by people in their personal lives, it is also prevalent in all forms of media. TV shows, movies, books, music, magazines, and other forms of media discuss violence against women and date rape often by making light of it, and if not, then by showing it in ways that don’t truly reflect the seriousness of the situation. Things like rape and violence against women should not be used as a joke, and people who notice this kind of sexism in media have a responsibility to speak out against it and boycott its’ presence in society.
Finally, we must stop stigmatizing and devaluing sexual assault against men. One out of thirty-three men have been victims of sexual assaults. While not as prevalent as sexual assault on women, many of the effects such as depression, PTSD, and drug abuse are found in male victims. In conclusion, rape needs to be discussed not only as a female problem, but a problem that affects everyone. It also needs to be understood that everyone plays a role in decreasing sexual assault and date rape.
Another thing that is important to educate 14-18 year olds about is how to respond to date rape and other instances of sexual assault. The first step that should be taught is to consider going to the emergency room right away. It’s recommended to refrain from showering directly after the assault so that doctors are able to gather as much DNA evidence as possible. It’s especially important to go to the hospital quickly if it’s believed that date rape drugs were involved because date rape drugs pass through the system relatively quickly and tests need to be done as soon as possible in order to detect which drugs were present.
When at the hospital, victims have the option of doing a rape kit and also have the option of emergency contraception if it is up to 120 hours after the incident. If the victim decides not to go to the emergency room, it is recommended that they visit a private clinician in order to receive cautionary medical attention.
Emotional support is also a critical part of responding to the situation. The three major aspects of emotional support are to make sure the victim keeps from blaming themself, gives themself enough time to heal, and confides in someone that they trust about the predicament. Kids should be taught how to help people they know deal with sexual assault and date rape by: letting them know that they believe them, not being judgmental, being patient and giving them their full attention, keeping it confidential, reminding them that it is not their fault, and always letting them know that it’s not something that they have to go through alone.
In conclusion, sexual assault and date rape are huge problems in society today and they affect a large portion of college age students. Because of this, date rape and sexual assault are good things to educate 14-18 year olds about in order to prepare them for the dangers they may face in college or other places in their lives. By educating the youth of our country, we can create a future for America that has far less sexual assault than it currently has.
Not only will people learn how to avoid being sexually assaulted, but people will also learn more about what consent is and how important it is to get consent before participating in sexual activity. This means that more people will avoid being raped and less people will attempt to rape. By teaching kids how to respond to sexual assault, the emotional and mental affects of being sexually assaulted can be minimized, and more cases may be reported which can lead to more sexual assault cases ending in the perpetrator being prosecuted. All in all, only positive things can come from educating kids about sexual assault and rape. Education will lead to progress, and eventually date rape and sexual assault may become things of the past.
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