Silent Victims

Silent Victims

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By: Crystal Guerra

As a child I’m sure you’ve heard your mother warn you to stay away from strangers, don’t take candy from strangers, don’t take ride for strangers and don’t talk to strangers. But why is it that our mother’s warning signs seem to fade away as we get older? Throughout the years sexual assault has been on a high rise. “Each year, there is about 213,000 victims of sexual assault and in every 2 minutes, someone is the U.S. is sexually assaulted” stated in RAPE, ABUSE & INCEST NATIONAL NETWORK (RAINN) website.

Recently there was a sexual assault incident on campus that involved two female students and another male allegedly from Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi. Unfortunately “60% of sexual assaults are not reported to police” stated RAINN. Texas A&M University-Kingsville Chief of Police, Felipe Garza mentions that most sexual assaults are acquaintances. “People who get victimized are too trusting, first thing know who your friends are and know your surroundings” Officer Garza said.

Garza also adds that if you are out to be aware of where your drink is and to never leave it unattended and to never take a drink from anyone you don’t know. Simple common sense can go a long way.

Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Director of Compliance, Dr. John Burnett says that “sexual assault is sexual assault. People have to understand that a person cannot give consent if they are past out and silence is not a form of consent!” Also a way a person dresses is not a form of consent. “When a woman dresses provocatively she is giving permission to be sexually violated” Ohlone Colleges Student Health Center website.

On campus there is a Rape Aggression Defense Class, it’s a 12 hour class for women and its ways to protect yourself in case you are attacked. Officer Garza explained that this program was established in Laredo and it recently began here at Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

“If your assaulted go to a safe place, seek immediate care, report to authorities and seek counseling” said Officer Garza.

Here are some helpful hints to avoid any attacks or assaults.

• If a attacked just remember your elbow is a strong point on your body, use it to your advantage!

• If mugged DO NOT give him your purse, throw it far away from you and run.

• If carjacked DO NOT drive away but press your foot on the accelerator and drive into something. Don’t worry your airbag will protect you and once you’re ok be sure to get out and run.

• If by any chance if you are on the road and you notice that a suspicious car is following you, drive to the nearest public place and call 911, but if you can drive to any police station.

• And always TRUST YOUR INTUITION!

Now-a-days everything is not black and white, if you become a victim of any sexual assault please report it authorities. Never blame yourself; it is not your fault!! If you or you know of someone that has been assaulted feel free to contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline, 1-800-656 HOPE (4673). Everything is free and confidential 24/7.