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Outstretched arms: questioning a normalized nonconsent

It’s harder to turn down a drink at a party, harder to stop sex once it starts, harder to decline a hug when outstretched arms are coming your way. As students who interact with each other and a variety of social situations each day, it is our responsibility to realize that a culture of consent takes community effort to create, and that our knowledge of nonconsent helps us act against it.

Sympathy and blame: Responding to rape

This seems to be an area in which men – the vast majority of the accused – are blatantly shown higher respect in the aftermath of these events compared to women – most often the victims. Rapists and sexual predators should be punished for their actions, and the level of distrust reserved for victims should not outweigh the level of distrust for perpetrators of sexual violence.

Rape: An uncomfortable truth

The recent events at Stanford are horrifying and tragic. A freshman, varsity swimmer, Brock Turner, was arrested and charged with five felonies for allegedly attempting to rape an unconscious woman outside of a fraternity. He was stopped by two cyclists that saw him on top of the woman and then held him until police arrived on scene. At the age of 19, Turner faces up to a decade in prison. As the campus reels and the story unfolds, there are important lessons to be learned.

YWCA response to sexual assault op-ed

We strive to serve each caller, whether male, female, transgender, non-identifying gender, adult, or child, with the utmost respect, understanding, and sensitivity. We know that no one is immune from sexual assault. We provide our volunteer advocates with extensive training on how to deal with a myriad of situations including working with underserved populations.

Harassment 101, part II: At school

The connection between harassment and rape culture, then, becomes a matter of the beliefs that the perpetrators of these acts share. A culture in which harassment is normal directly contributes to a culture in which rape is common and permissible; in which Title IX is a joke, not a law that prohibits unsafe accommodations and environments for women; in which domestic violence leads three women every day to be killed by an intimate partner or former partner. It is important to take these abstract notions of gender and sexuality seriously because beliefs about gender and inequality influence women’s safety.