Hands Off

Sexual assault is a problem, but it can get better


Julie Freijat, co-editor in chief

He tells me the complaints are pointless.

He tells me there is no where we can go from here — that we are stuck in this cycle of hurt and greed and the world won’t change simply because we acknowledged the problem.

He is a friend, and the problem is sexual misconduct.

Why have such little hope in ending the problems that hurt us?

I don’t think he is saying what he is in defense of the perpetrators of this crime. I think this is being said because, from an outside perspective, humanity is growing sicker by the day.

But we don’t see things from the outside — we live on the inside, and it’s arrogant to think any of us have the privilege of judging our own species so cruelly.

Unfortunately, my friend’s opinion is shared by millions.

This is an opinion with which I strongly disagree.

Discomfort exists for a very good reason — it’s the driving force behind what causes us to change things. If these crimes make you feel disturbed — if they make your stomach turn — they are worth being addressed. They have the possibility of ending.

Apathy is not a solution. It’s a surrender.

These problems have been happening for a very long time — and we have seen progress. People are reporting. Perpetrators are acknowledging their crimes. Help is being sought — on both ends. These baby steps are key to creating a wave that can sweep the country and create a safer environment for us all. 

2017 was not the year of sexual crimes. It was the year people got tired of staying quiet.

Yes, this world has always experienced the horror of sexual and moral corruptness — and no, I don’t expect it to completely stop right now. I would hope you see that there is always a solution. I would hope that these revelations put some thoughts in your head.

What do you see? What can you do? Certainly, some of us can do more than others, but that doesn’t mean your small amount of help means nothing.

You own only yourself. You only are responsible for yourself. Do not bend the boundaries, and you won’t find yourself tangled in a mess of hurting others. Take your hands off what doesn’t belong to you.

Use your voice — use your platform. We all touch so many people in a day, whether it be by word or by action. Sexual misconduct is an issue, and it can sometimes be a symptom of a deeper problem. This conflict has created a vast amount of the world’s issues — the lust for power. It’s corrupt and deadly, but there is always an opposition, a resistance.

I believe that in this situation, we need to make decisions not based off impulse but based off thought and justice.
    Don’t rush into any mindset. Changing society is not something that happens overnight. We don’t all have the patience for it. It takes years. It takes people who will approach it with a fair, methodical work ethic. 

Chances are, we won’t see ourselves eradicated of something like this anytime soon. But if we are taking the steps to do so, it doesn’t matter how quickly we get it done, so long as we get it done right.