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Sexual Assault

“Grab ’em by the p***y. You can do anything,” said Donald J. Trump, the current president of the United States, to Billy Bush, a television and radio show host. In 2016, Access Hollywood leaked footage of Donald Trump bragging he could grope and kiss women. He boasted, “When you’re a star they let you do it.” Trump apologized for what he said in the video, but instead of talking about his actions, he called them “a distraction from the issues we’re facing today.”

When sexual assault and harassment allegations stormed the country in October of 2017, many women came out and gave their stories of sexual assault and/or sexual harassment. Stories are still popping up, mainly focused on politicians, actors, and producers. Though the media frenzy generally focuses on high-profile cases, sexual assault occurs at all levels of society—even here, at TL.

One in four girls will be sexually assaulted and/or harassed before the age of 18. With 1,241 students at TL, this means about 152 girls will be sexually assaulted by the time they graduate. With about 150 girls rotating through this school each year, approximately 38 girls coming into TL will be sexually assaulted, while 38 girls leaving TL will have been sexually assaulted.

Two anonymous sources have come forward from Terra Linda High School to talk about their experiences. The first source experienced harassment that led to outright assault. This is her story. “I was sexually harassed over text by a close friend. He was pressuring me to kiss him and do sexual things with him. I refused, and I let the situation go. I was sexually assaulted in junior high on school campus. We were walking in the halls, just the two of us. To make a long story short, he reached over and grabbed my breast.” This outlines the most common form of sexual harassment and sexual assault, a male verbally pressuring a female, eventually escalating to groping and other unwanted physical contact.

The second anonymous source agreed to give her story. The student related that in the third grade, age 9, on the morning of Christmas Eve that a relative beckoned her for what she thought was a hug. Instead, “He started touching me in places…I was a kid…I just knew it was bad and I didn’t like it. The worst part was when I told my mom she thought I was lying.” Many people want to deny what is happening in the world regarding sexual assault that many stories are left unrecognized.

In October of 2017, many women and men made allegations against well known people for sexually assaulting and/or harassing them. These people are called the Silence Breakers. TIME Magazine recognized the Silence Breakers as their person of the year on December 6th, 2017. These women and men are the ones who brought sexual harassment and sexual assault forward with the #MeToo Movement. One of the Silence Breakers, actor Selma Blair, told TIME Magazine, “He said if I ever wronged him, he would have me kidnapped, have my eyes gouged out with a Bic pen and throw me into the Hudson River.” Stories of sexual harassment and sexual assault are too frequently swept under the rug with threats attached, based on harming someone, economically or physically, Sexual harassment and assault are actions that can take a heavy emotional toll. The #MeTooMovement takes one step toward solving this problem. Not only do women need to be taught to defend themselves, men need to be taught to respect women from a young age, both at home and in school. A major societal shift needs to happen. This societal shift needs to be a cooperative effort Too many people want to use women and take away their rights, and it must stop. If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault or harassment text VOICE to 741-741 or call 1-800-656-4673.

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Nicole Service is a Sophomore. She is a editor of The Voice. She is of Italian and Native American decent, has two cats, and was born on September 23, 2003. Things Nicole enjoys is writing, the movie Scream, and Bryson Tiller's music. After Nicole graduates, she wants to go to Syracuse University in New York to study Journalism.