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By now you have probably heard that a student athlete from Stanford University was convicted on three counts of sexual assault for raping a  young woman, who was unconscious, behind a dumpster. The judge sentenced him to 6 months in jail stating "a prison sentence would have a severe impact on him. I think he will not be a danger to others.” The news of this story spread quickly and outrage has been heard loud and clear, including a petition for the judge to be recalled.

We should remain outraged at what happened at Stanford but we must also recognize that this story made national news and is being shared because we are more outraged about things that happen in elite spaces. These atrocities are   happening on a daily basis in our communities. Victims who know their perpetrators are not believed because surely they did something to make them believe they had given consent. Most cases of sexual assault are void of DNA evidence and aren't even forwarded for prosecution because of a lack of evidence and when they are , they are dismissed because it's he say/she say. Victims are silenced and told to not speak up and ruin their perpetrator's life. Juries don't believe rape can happen in the context of marriage. Children are found to be incredible witnesses. Judges believe prison time will have a severe impact on the perpetrator. I assure you. This is happening every. single. day.

The fervor about this case will die down. It will move to the back of our consciousness.

We shouldn't be ok with that. We should be angry and furious. We should also start making change. We should start saying "not my son, not my daughter". We should start saying we will no longer uphold rape culture. We should start by believing when a woman, man, boy or girl says someone hurt them. When you're at the bar with the fellas and they make a derogatory comment about a woman, call them out. Tell them that's not cool and you won't accept those kind of beliefs in your presence. Stop supporting artists whose work is misogynistic and portrays women as objects to be conquered and dominated. Then take it a step further and stop supporting those outlets that promote their message. Teach your kids about their bodies, about their natural sexual desires, about consent, that yes means yes and everything else is no, that consent is sexy and an absolute must. When they say they don't want to hug that uncle at the family reunion, respect their wishes. Stop telling girls if they had self worth this wouldn't happen to them and start teaching boys that girls are worthy of respect. Stop telling little boys to man up and to not act like a girl. Let kids be kids. Look out for each other. Don't stand by without acting when you have the feeling that something just isn't right.
By all means, don't rape


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