College students should be able to feel comfortable on campus because this place essentially becomes their home – whether they live on it or not. Schools should do the best they can to accommodate for their student body and support them with whatever needs they may have outside of the classroom. Sexual assault panels are important because they can provide the support students need and apply the appropriate disciplinary actions on offenders.
Students may feel uneasy going to an assault panel. It can be difficult because you don’t want others to know, see or talk about it, but it’s important that it’s done. Having a safe place to voice out concerns or addressing what has happened can help students feel supported and cared about amongst a large body of students.
Talking to a sexual assault panel may help an individual be heard, but sometimes it can be intimidating and even off-putting. We live in a society where the excuse: “they/she/he asked for it” based on what item of clothing you have on, whom you hang out with, and what activities you do. No one deserves or asks for sexual assault, but it may be hard proving that to fellow classmates.
It also may be opening up about a situation with people you may not know or people you don’t want to know. Schools should have immediate counsel or crisis center for individuals who need support.
We also live in a society where many people believe we should “teach our boys not to rape” – we should be teaching all genders and sexual preference not to do so. Its important for schools, especially colleges, to spread awareness of sexual assault since more than 90% of incidents go unreported. They should promote safe and confidential places for students to report incidents and counsel services if needed.
Your voice is important and you shouldn’t feel afraid to speak up.
Student Led Sexual Assault Panels have the Potential to Impact the College Community.
by Karly Sacco
College students are at a very important time in their lives. They are transitioning into adults and with that comes more responsibility and pressure from the rest of the world – to try to be the best that you can be. Colleges need to create a comfortable environment for their students so they are able to express their minds when need be. With that being said, colleges need to work with students to help run sexual assault panels.
In a perfect world there would be no need for such a thing as a sexual assault panel, but unfortunately none of us live in that utopia so sexual assault panels need to be an important way in spreading awareness. But with the good comes the bad and for some victims, it may discourage them from coming forward. Here are some important points to remember when it comes to student run sexual assault panels:
- It is important for students to have a voice when it comes to sexual assault panels. Student run panels can make a huge difference at college campuses. They can give students that are afraid to speak up a voice and a platform to express them in a comfortable environment.
- School’s need to support these types of panels by having weekly meeting to try to keep up with any issues that occur at their school such as any sexual assault incidents or world-wide topics that should be discussed in a class-room setting.
- Sexual assault panels are important in spreading awareness-
- Victims have a chance to be heard by those who want to listen, but more importantly, those who want to help.
- This is great way for students to spread the message all over their campus so more and more people can get involved with spreading sexual assault prevention awareness.
- Sexual assault panels discourage victims from coming forward-
- A victim may not be ready to share their story and if their school has a sexual assault panel, it may be too overwhelming and they could feel pressure to speak up now that they have the opportunity to.
- Victims may feel judged when speaking to the panel in front of fellow classmates. Many emotions might be at an all-time-high so it is important to be mindful of others in these high-tension situations.
Don’t be afraid to speak up and help spread sexual assault prevention awareness on your campus.
There are so many products out there for self-defense, even quirky products like this umbrella which is described as “just as strong as a steel pipe” and was shown to have the power of splitting a watermelon. I can only imagine what it would do to an attacker.
Here is a list of three articles with self-defense strategies that unfortunately do not utilize fruit in a demonstration of effectiveness:
- This one has a description about how to get away from someone coming after you with a bat, knife, and/or a gun. I have not seen a tutorial about this before, but why not at least scan through it in case it does happen!
- The next article has the slogan of “Protect yourself using everyday items!” After looking through the sketches and descriptions, I find the most useful objects may just be a pen or sanitizer spray from their given list. Products seen all the time now have a totally new use for self-defense!
- Lastly, here is a list of safety tips which mostly have to do with being aware of your surroundings and not walking in secluded areas alone!
Whether you decide to purchase self-defense items or even take self-defense courses is up to you, but the least you can do is take the time to have a few emergency plans memorized just in case!