Diana Arce

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Sexual assault in the media and high school environment.

Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund logo.

In the wake of women speaking up against their aggressors, a new movement known as “Times Up” rose in popularity as the new year rolled in. In just a month they gathered over 200 lawyers and about $20 million for their legal fund. What initially started as a supportive movement online known as “Me Too” to encourage people of all sexes to be vocal about their experiences as victims of sexual assault, “Times Up,” a different but very similar movement, developed its own goals with a focus on being proactive and promoting equity in the everyday life of students, workers, and human beings as citizens of the world.

At the Grammy’s in January, Janelle Monae introduced Kesha to the stage and called for action within the music industry stating, “Let’s work together, women and men, committed to creating safer work environments and equal pay.” Janelle Monae’s short speech highlighted the most important part of the movement, it isn’t about attacking one sex or the other, it is about respecting the privacy and rights of everyone regardless of their gender or position in the workplace.

Proud supporters of the movement Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria, Salma Hayek, and Ashley Judd on the Golden Globes red carpet wearing black in solidarity.

What constitutes as sexual assault often comes with confusion as to where the line is drawn.

According to the United States Department of Justice,

sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.”

Sexual assault is not solely restricted to what we know it to be on TV—we often disregard the part that includes behavior without the explicit consent of the recipient.

So, what exactly does that imply?

This means that you should not feel impelled to remain silent when someone, regardless of their sex, is making you uncomfortable in public or in private. If you find yourself in a situation where the opposite person is initiating something that you do not wish to be a part of, speak up. It’s valid and you have every right to do so. 

Statistics on Sexual Assault:

(Courtesy of Teen Help)

  • Teenagers account for 51% of all reported abuse
  • Teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 are 3.5 more likely to be victims of sexual assault than the general public
  • 23% of all sexual offenders are under the age of 18

You are not alone.