Photo Courtesy of the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence

NDLOVU | Reflections on Consent

It’s especially scary when, on the front page of the news, there’s a mugshot of someone you frequently see in your dorm, the dining hall, parties or classes being charged with rape. My heart goes out to the courageous women who survived these ordeals and rightfully reported them. Whenever I hear about these terrible crimes, I cannot ignore the small voice that says, “it could have been you.” Sexual harassment is happening to us individually on the daily, even if we do not realize it, and we must realize this in order to truly help others. Wolf-whistling, cat-calling and lurid up-and-down gazes are so commonplace that most women just brush them off and move on but such sexual gestures indicate that regarding women as sexual objects still persists. Furthermore, it may seem like the recent highly-publicized Wolfgang Ballinger and Xavier Eaglin rape crimes are isolated exceptions within a peaceful, liberal and crime-free campus but the shocking fact is that 5% of women on college campuses in America are victims of  rape or attempted rape every year (Kilpatrick, Resnick, Riggierio, Conoscenti, & McCauley, 2007; American College Health Association, 2013).