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  • Aniyah Smith: OPINION

No Means No!

Sexual assault is a big problem that has been getting a lot of media attention recently. Just this year alone, over 30 high-profile men have been accused of some type of sexual harassment.

Many of the men that were accused may sound familiar to you. A few of them include: producer Harvey Weinstein; actors Kevin Spacey, Andy Dick, and Ed Westwick; executive producer Benjamin Genocchio; and TV host Matt Lauer.

No matter the status of the accused, no one is exempt from the consequences.

Everyone should be well-aware that when a person says no to any sexual content, that means no. There’s no way anyone should ever think that if they asked again that would change the answer.

We as a society should make sure the definition of sexual assault and sexual harassment is fully known. It is our job to increase awareness and properly educate our upcoming generation about sexual assault.

Consent - (noun) permission for something to happen, or agreement to do something.

When asked what her definition of sexual ‘assault’ is, junior Kennedy Brinkley said, “I would say being touched or verbally assaulted in a way that you wouldn’t want done to you in a sexual manner.” And she is mostly right. Sexual assault is not only sex, but also unwanted touching or other inappropriate physical contact.

Some people don’t know that.

Sexual ‘harassment’ involves unwanted sexual comments, requests or other verbal intimidation of a sexual nature. Some women aren’t aware that they’re being sexually abused, because they may not know the true meaning of it.

A common issue is that people feel the person being assaulted provoked the assaulter or could’ve prevented the sexual abuse.

“I believe that people can force themselves upon you and make you feel trapped or threatened in a situation to the point where you can’t really avoid, you just let it happen,” Brinkley said.

Most counts of sexual assault are men assaulting women. Not saying that women don’t sexually assault men, but it’s less common than a man assaulting a woman. Melanie Martinez, a former contestant on “The Voice,” was recently accused of rape by her best friend, who is also a female.

Yet men are more known to be the aggressors and also less inclined to come forward about assaults against them.

“Males tend to have a more aggressive way towards women,” said CHS student Jaylin Drewry.

According to the Department of Justice, 82% of all juvenile victims of rape are female, and 90% of adult rape victims are female. Only 3% of males, on the other hand, will ever be raped in their entire lifetime.

No one has the right to push someone to defend themselves from sexual aggression; however, there may come a time when it becomes necessary to secure yourself from an attack.

One preventative measure would be to take self defense classes to make sure you’re properly equipped to keep yourself safe. You also could carry pepper spray, a taser, or even a simple whistle.

Even if a female is able to defend herself, no one should continue to try and persuade their decision. If the original answer is no, that means NO!

Photo: Elijah Macklin

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