This is Sexual Assault

Photo by Martin Luo

No matter how minor an instance is, sexual assault is real, and it happens way more than you think. Every day, women are violated one way or another, and more often than not choose to let it go because it’s “guys being guys” or “no big deal.” The worst part of it all? It is a big deal. An incredibly huge and damaging one.

Our staff has collected moments where we have felt sexually violated in some way, and we’d like to share them. If you’re not sure if what has happened to you classifies as sexual assault, take a look at some of these responses.

“Two summers ago while traveling abroad, I was on my way to go meet some friends out at night. As I was getting onto the subway car, I felt someone’s hand grab my butt. I instantly felt so violated and disgusted. Before I could turn around to see a face, the doors shut behind me and they were gone.”

This is sexual assault.

“He said he didn’t have a condom, so I said I don’t think we should do this. He said it’s fine, carried on, and ignored me when I said I wanted to stop. I just gave in and let it happen anyway.”

This is sexual assault.

“I was out one night, and a guy grabbed my butt as he walked past me standing on the sidewalk.”

This is sexual assault.

“At crowded parties when guys brush up against you and grope you and pretend like it’s because the party is really crowded.”

This is sexual assault.

“I talked to him at a party and then went back to my friends. Later, he slapped my butt out of nowhere. Unfortunately, I’m talking about multiple guys on multiple nights.”

This is sexual assault.

“I always feel really violated when drunk guys at frats come aggressively grab me from behind and try to dance when I have no idea who they are.”

This is sexual assault.

“At my last internship, my boss often would snapchat message me or say inappropriate things that made me uncomfortable. At one point he snap messaged me ‘What that mouth do.’ It’s something my friends and I joke about now, but at the time it was super uncomfortable and kind of scary. I guess this isn’t sexual assault but I definitely felt I was being sexually harassed.”

This is sexual harassment.

When did we come to accept these actions as okay? When did we start to let men have more power over us and less respect towards us? Feeling violated is something that women should not experience on a normal basis, and it’s more important than ever to let your voice be heard.

Speak up.