Self Defense Program in School
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Some facts you need to know about Sexual Assault and Harassment:
- Girls who are 16-18 years old are 4 times more likely to be victims of rape, attempted rape, sexual assault, or sexual harassment.
- The victims of 70% of sexual violence cases are between the ages of 12-34 years old.
- 1 in 5 women will experience sexual harassment or assault in their lifetimes.
- Those who have been sexually assaulted are more likely to use drugs.
- Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.
A couple weeks ago, I was on the receiving end of a call that no one ever wants to get. My girlfriend had called me. She was sobbing. I asked her, “Hey, what's wrong?” and she replied, with choking sobs in between: “ a guy,... a guy...he grabbed my hand … and he pushed me up against a locker…. And he got all up in my face...and he….and he pressed on me.”
My girlfriend had been sexually harassed in school.
A school is supposed to be a safe environment for all students. But unfortunately, this is not the case.
Many people I know, including my girlfriend, have been victims of sexual harassment in school and have experienced sexual assault outside of school.
As a person who has first-hand experience with this, I can only tell you one thing for certain: The effects of sexual harassment and assault do not end when the boy is satisfied. It is a vicious cycle that eats away at the girl’s self-worth, spreads to her family and friends, and is a major cause of depression and drug use. A recent study done by the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network showed that 37% of sexual assault victims experience family and friend problems, a lack of trust in family and friends, and a feeling of being distant or shunned by other people. People who have been sexually assaulted are 10 times more likely to use drugs. Even worse, 33% of victims contemplate suicide.
Because high school students are at the greatest risk of sexual harassment and assault, we must incorporate a self-defense program into our schools.
With the addition of a self-defense program, girls and boys alike will learn how to protect themselves from sexual harassment and assault. Boys will learn how to properly treat women. Girls will have more confidence and respect for themselves. And everyone will learn proper morals and values... values that many of us seem to have forgotten in recent years.
The implementation of this program is key to bringing down the statistics mentioned above. We must educate our students on the effects of sexual assault and harassment, teach our students to respect one another, and also educate them on how to defend themselves.
Because with every lesson a girl gets on how to defend herself... with every lesson a boy gets on how to respect girls... with every lesson, we are lowering those statistics. And that is what matters. Because behind those statistics is a future astronaut, a politician, businesswoman, an athlete, a musician. More importantly, behind those statistics is a daughter, a sister, a best friend.
Join us in our efforts to provide every student with a safe environment in school by signing this petition! Let's be the generation to stop sexual harassment and assault!
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