#YEAR13PROBLEMS

Sexual assault

In the news right now are a whole lot of stories about sexual assault. While sexual assault has been a prevalent issue for many women and men for many, many years, as soon as pretty people in Hollywood say they’ve experienced it, the media suddenly cares.

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Whether or not sexual assault is more prominent in an industry like Hollywood or retail is, right now, a matter of opinion. I do suspect it’s more prevalent in the more extraordinary industries, like Hollywood, politics, journalism, etc, etc. That’s not to say that those in the ‘ordinary’ industries don’t experience it – of course, they do.

But regardless of industry or age, sexual assault is a huge problem – and one we should be talking about more, particularly among young people.

Believe it or not, a lot of young people are sexually assaulted and a lot of them don’t even recognise that they have been. Whether it’s a man groping you in town or a woman feeling your bum, it’s sexual assault either way. And it’s not right.

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Amongst young women, in particular, I see a reluctance to admit they’ve been sexually assaulted, or to call someone out for doing it. They feel it will either be the end to them being perceived as friendly and kind because they come forward about a man being unfriendly and unkind (and that’s an understatement). Or it could be, as I do see a lot of the time, that they just don’t want to admit to themselves they’ve been sexually assaulted or harassed and don’t want to have to deal with that realisation.

Oh, and speaking of sexual harassment, unwanted nudes are exactly that. It is sexual harassment if a boy sends you a photo of his penis, the police would be quite interested in that too. Just as if a man flashes at you in the street, it is unacceptable and you have the right to complain.

You always have the right to complain if someone makes unwanted advances towards you, no matter whatever else goes through your mind.

It’s your body and you have the right to control it.