Just because you're a college student, just because you decide to go to a party, just because you decide to drink alcohol, just because you wear a revealing dress, does that automatically mean you're giving your consent for somebody to have sex with you? According to many US colleges, it does.
Imagine going to a party, seeing a friend you have classes with and having a few drinks with them. You're starting to feel pretty drunk, and need to get home, so he offers his spare room as a safe haven for you to sleep it off. But that isn't all he has in store for you. The next morning, humiliated and horrified, you're forced to go along with your day-to-day life, to live with what has been done to you. Eventually, you work up the courage to speak to a trusted professor, and she tells you "rape is like a football game, if you could look back at it and do things differently, what would you do?"
That was the question a girl was asked when she reported a rape to her college, as told in the chilling documentary The Hunting Ground. The true stories, statistics and facts within this documentary are heartbreaking and it needs to be seen by more people.
1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted at college.
A man who has admitted to committing sexual offences at college says "College is the place where lots of alcohol is consumed and the number of victims is endless..."
The issue of the rape culture and the handling of it by the educational constitutions is prevalent in many countries, but this documentary purely looks at the US, with some of the biggest colleges being named: Harvard, Berkeley, Dartmouth and Brown are some of many. One of the most shocking statistics showed that Stanford University had 259 reported sexual assaults between 1996 - 2013, yet only one expulsion. One of the most shocking aspects of the documentary was that the majority of the perpetrators got away with their crimes, some having even committed multiple offences on multiple people. The documentary looks at not only the issues and the problems that are evident, but the laws and the ways in which we can challenge the outcomes of the sexual assault reports.
For me, the most important way we can all make a change is to spread awareness and ensure all women and men remain safe, not just at college but throughout their whole lives.