Imagine get sexually assaulted. The thought of these

Imagine walking home on a Friday evening after a late night class. You are tired and alone. You are walking down the hall to your dorm when suddenly you see a group of drunk boys. You ignore them and avoid eye contact. They start cat-calling you. The only thing you can think of is to get out of there, as you are terrified to get sexually assaulted. The thought of these boys raping you is the only thought running through your head. Unfortunately, this is the true reality for young women in Canadian Universities. We often do not hear about it on the news, therefore, are unaware of the problem. Sexual misconduct is a huge problem in universities because many victims are scared of publicity. Victims are often young women, between the ages of 17 and 24. They do not know who to trust, or who to tell. One of the reasons might be because they have never been taught what to do and how to handle such difficult situations. Education is the only thing that solves or aids the victims in these situations. Canadian youth have the right to be educated on the topic of sexual harassment to prevent them from becoming offenders or victims.
Sexual assault in Canadian universities has been around for a long time. University students are usually new drinkers, making them vulnerable, and easy targets for sexual crimes. In a research done in 2015, they found that one in five women experience sexual assault while attending a post-secondary institution. It is noted that many on-campus assaults occur within the first 8 weeks of the school year. An investigation done by CBC revealed that between 2009 to 2013, over 700 sexual assaults were reported at Canadian colleges and universities. (Canadian Federation of Students–Ontario pg. 2) In late June 2017, Brittany Galler was raped in her own dorm. She woke up in her own bed, without clothing. The guy next door, had raped her, while she was asleep. She filed a police report, and the guy was evicted. He moved out of the building in the next week, no further measures were taken to prevent such events in the future. (Xing CBC) The students cannot trust or rely on the university to take action because many lack policies. It is alarming that even in the 21st century, we are still facing problems regarding sexual assault crimes.
Currently, only 9 out of 102 Canadian colleges and universities have sexual assault policies. Ontario and British Columbia have passed provincial legislations requiring universities and colleges to create stand-alone sexual violence policies (Our Turn Action Plan Final English Most Compressed) Outside of school, students who have experienced sexual assault can contact the police. The Criminal Code of Canada says anyone who commits a sexual assault is guilty of an indictable offence. If proven, is accountable to prison up to ten years. If the victim is under the age of sixteen years, the offender is accountable to prison for up to 14 years and a minimum imprisonment of 12 months (“Canada Criminal Code”). This is not enough to address the issue, reason being, to a potential offender, the consequences are not clear of sexual crimes. Especially when their University has a loose or no sexual assault policies, in their mind, they could get potentially get away with it. It is unclear why sexual assault is not considered a crime. Sexual assaults are worse than armed robbery or fraud because the effects of sexual misconduct or rape are not only physical but can also lead to emotional traumas. The victims often face mental health issues, including depression, PTSD, and is extreme cases, victims are found suicidal (“Effects Of Sexual Violence | RAINN”). Due to its, sensitivities, Canadian universities and colleges need to work much harder to ensure that proper policies and educational programs are in place to better prepare the students to deal and prevent such unpleasant events.
Education is the first step to preventing any world problem. As I have said before by educating the youth, we can prevent them from becoming the predator or victim. In wellness, we are taught about our sexual health, and that without our consent, no one has the right to touch us. But is that enough? When it really comes down to it, what would you do in the situation? At Saint Mary’s University, in Halifax, a group of three hundred students performed a sexist chant about rape. In the chant, they said, “Y is for your sister. O is for oh, so tight. U is for underage. N is no consent. G is for grab that ass” (Wong, Global). There were both men and women, who thought it was completely appropriate to chant this. It is very clear that no one told them what is right and what is wrong, which is why, they made rape, and sexual assault a joke. If a girl were to get raped, do you think she would report it? No, because this is what she would have experienced her first week of University. Events like these make victims stop from speaking out in public. I believe that in the Physical Education and Wellness Curriculum, self-defence should be taught. We also need to have discussions in class, openly about sexual assault. In a class of grade 10s’, when you say, sexual assault, many will feel uncomfortable. That is a clear sign that we do not talk about it enough. In the gymnasium entrance to our school, it says, “Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to changes the world.” (Nelson Mandela). If we want to change, we must educate ourselves to become knowledgeable to do so.
In conclusion, sexual assault and harassments are problems, which Canadian students face in their daily life. It has always been a problem, but in recent years, the reports of sexual assault are extremely low. Lee Lakeman, a worker at the Vancouver Rape Relief Centre, says “It’s just not possible that they are that low. I can get more reports of sexual assault by walking across the street on a campus” (Xing, CBC). She implies that students do not feel comfortable talking or reporting sexual assault because they lack education and feel embarrassed to speak out. They do not know who to tell, and how to tell someone. In our schools and homes, we need to create an atmosphere, which is open for discussion, so that students feel comfortable talking about their experiences. The measure that the Canadian government has taken is the first step in stopping sexual assault from happening. However, schools, families, and other influential members of the society should educate and motivate the students to learn more about how to handle such crimes. It is also the responsibility of the student to find out more about the issue, so they do not become offenders or victims of the sexual assault

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