You are not alone

To all of the women and men who have experienced sexual abuse in some way, this is for you.

Recently, the Dean of Students Office  released statistics regarding sexual assault on campus. According to the data, sexual assaults on campus are on the rise.

This, however, might not be due to an increase in sexual assaults, but rather an increase in reporting. In a way, the increase in reports of sexual assaults is a positive thing because oftentimes, assault is not reported.

Women and men don’t report being sexually assaulted for many reasons, such as perceived shame, fear and possible victim blaming.

Remember, reporting or not reporting an assault is the right of the person who was assaulted.

Not reporting a sexual assault can be harmful to the person and the community.

My fellow students, I urge you to report your assaults. It can be freeing, I promise.

The further I get away from being sexually assaulted as a teenager, the more I am able to speak about my experience and the more I feel free.

I refuse to let society shame me, ask me what I was wearing or make me feel like a victim.

I did speak out, and the person who assaulted me is now serving a prison sentence for what he did to me and to another girl. By speaking out, I not only took back control, but also helped to take a dangerous person off the streets.

In helping myself, I helped others.

If you are assaulted, please consider reporting your assault not only to campus authorities, but to local authorities as well.

When someone violates another person, they deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Let them have what they deserve and let yourself be liberated.

To my fellow sexual assault survivors, you are strong.

If you don’t feel strong, let the strength of those around you build you up.

Do not be ashamed to seek therapy or counseling groups. I have found they give me clarity and peace.

Report assault and seek justice. Tell your story and seek liberation.

You have not been tarnished by the crime of another.

This was not your fault.

You are not alone.