Empowered, trusting, strong, and fearless; these are the words we wish to describe ourselves and those we are surrounded by. Broken, scared, powerless, and fearful; these are the words that describe us and what we become when we are violated.
On Sept. 21, Dr. John Foubert conducted two sessions on keeping campus’ safe from sexual violence. Helpful and informative, these sessions were powerful and meant to help educate and arm us with information on different things we can do to better protect ourselves and those we care about against rape and sexual violence.
Rape is a touchy subject in this country. It is hard to approach, hard to discuss, and most definitely hard to accuse. “Rape” is a scary word. It is what is known as a devil term. This word is used to put down others, talk negatively about certain situations, and is used out of context quite often, although, the word has power.
As humans, we strive to find the good in others and trust them without thinking twice. We have to remember that regardless of what happens to us, there are people out there that are genuinely good and will protect us from the bad by any means necessary.
This world is full of terrible things that we hope we never have to face. A fatal car accident, unfair deaths, losing everything we own, becoming paralyzed, and being raped. These are all terrible things that we do not discuss because they are sad, make us uncomfortable, and embarrass us.
This is where we need to learn how to change things for the better. We can take something that is a taboo subject and bring it to light. We can make things better for us all, as a whole. Learning how to use the words that we are taught how to use when expressing our feelings can be more powerful than we recognize. We so strongly want to protect our peers and those younger, but better than doing that physically, we need to teach them that expressing their feelings and thoughts through words is a huge form of protection.
The more we are able to educate young men and women about dangerous situations and dangerous people, the less dangerous situations and dangerous people we will ultimately have. Teaching prevention is not something that can always cure or stop something from happening, however, education is a great place to start. Instead of not discussing the scary parts of life with our peers and keeping them naïve about the world they live in, let us make these topics an open book for anyone to read when they want to.
If we are uneducated on the topic or uncomfortable, let us educate ourselves or talk with someone that knows more than we do. Let us be as willing to learn as the next person. This will help everyone, as well as help us learn about the topic at hand.
Let us be the person that anyone can count on to protect them. Let us be that person that we would want to be there in a time of need.
The more we open up and talk about the things that are not discussed in everyday conversation the more we will inevitably prevent from bad things happening to us. Granted bad things happen without our permission, but the things we can control, the things we can talk about, are a great start to a better and more encouraging future for those in need of the words we will leave behind.
Caitlin Dyck is a senior majoring in general communication. You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.