Apr 212002

It’s time for us to fight back.

While our sisters, friends and classmates are being taken advantage of in our very own town, on our very own campus, it’s not enough for us to just say “That’s too bad.”

It’s not enough for us to stand idly by and hope that we don’t know the next person who’s assaulted.

It’s time for us to take a stand and make sure that everyone in our community is protected and to treat everyone like they’re our sister, friend or classmate.

We can no longer stand idly by and ignore this problem. This year more than ever, sexual assaults have come to the forefront of our attention. They have hit campus and community alike, and women our age are being targeted.

So what are we going to do about it?

I can write phone number after phone number in this column. I can recommend the best places to buy locks for windows or give advice on the places on campus to steer clear of at night /_” but all of this advice is worthless if the campus community is not willing to actually use the advice.

In Morgan Library, you can find CSU Police Department officials in the main entrance every night, and every night women walk themselves to their cars parked in the back of the lot.

The Victims’ Assistance team is available 24 hours a day, the operators are well-trained to handle your call, yet the system isn’t utilized as much as it should be.

Just last Thursday, about 100 women gathered to rally to “Take Back the Night” and work to end sexual assaults, while the next evening, on Friday, another woman was grabbed on campus.

We can’t leave a problem with a span like this to just 100 empowered women and to just one march. It is a problem for all of us. Everyday.

One in six women have experienced a completed or attempted rape sometime in their lives. Chances are that you’ve seen these women and you’ve interacted with them.

We think that we should just mind our own business – if someone wants into a dorm, it would be rude to ask why they want in, we shouldn’t pressure our friends to lock their doors, and if they really want to walk around by themselves at night then we should let them, because it’s their own decision.

It’s never rude to protect people you know; it’s never wrong to help them despite protests.

The truth is that women can’t walk alone at night, can’t be comfortable their own apartments, and aren’t even safe going to the restrooms in the dorms until we all stand up for each other. Until we’re all “rude” and insist that we’ll help out our friends.

It’s time for us to fight back.

If we see someone being attacked, of course we should try to help out, but the even bigger fight for our community is the fight of prevention.

We can’t let women we know put themselves in danger, intentionally or otherwise. We can’t let someone we know get away with an assault – even if he is our friend.

It’s our community; they’re our friends. We can’t afford to be apathetic.

Maria Sanchez-Traynor is a senior majoring in English and journalism.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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