Soon students from all over the country will be heading back to school and for many high school graduates, it will mean leaving home for the first time to begin their first year in college. That transition for most will be filled with anxiety and angst and parents will be praying each and every day for their safety.
However, along with packing and praying, we need to educate them on the sexual assault statistics that is prevalent on many college campuses. We need to arm them with information on what is consent and consensual sex as well as where they can go to get more information to learn about the warning signs of sexual predators.
My Podcast guest, Veronica Loving is the author of a newly released memoir, “Feeding A Monster” in which she shares her story of overcoming self-blame and feeling ashamed to speak out about her abuser, her ex-husband and a minor-league baseball player” In this new memoir, Veronica helps readers identify signs of sexual assault and manipulation.
Some of you may even remember when then Vice President Joe Biden talked about the rape culture on campus. He made a blunt statement to male college students on how they can end sexual assault by respecting consent and challenged them to fight the culture of silence and victim blaming.
“Guys, a woman who is dead drunk cannot consent — You are raping her!” he said. “We’ve got to talk about this. Consent requires affirmative consent!”
Biden spoke these words to an arena of students at George Mason University on behalf of his “It’s On Us” initiative. He encouraged both men and women to speak up to stop an assault from happening but placed the particular onus on men to challenge the false narrative that being a man means mistreating a woman.
“It’s our responsibility, men in particular, but all of us, to stop this culture,” he said. “If you can’t get her to say ‘yes’ because she wants to, you ain’t much.”
According to research from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five women are sexually assaulted in college, but more than 90 percent of victims do not report the crime.
Granted, ‘the sex talk’ is not a topic that parents look forward to having with their kids no matter their age, but it is a conversation that must be had before he or she leaves home and moves into their college dorm room or apartment.
Social media has put an even greater spotlight on this subject because of the way students are viewing themselves unrealistically online. Some may also feel as though Social Media is destroying their lives.’
Nancy Jo Sales, who wrote a Vanity Fair article that took the look at teenage relationships in the age of social media. She stated that adults may be shocked to learn that teens today are obsessed with sex. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tinder and other online tools are seemingly robbing America’s youth of meaningful, loving relationships.
“We don’t date; we just hook up,” one girl in L.A. tells Sales. “Oral is, like, the new kissing,” says another girl in New York. Boys pressure girls to send them nude photos. “They’re definitely more forward to us online than in person,” says one girl, Zoe. “Because they’re not saying it to our faces.”
Parents, please talk to your students and if you want to learn more about consent and consensual sex, please check out this blog post on the Planned Parenthood website.