Urge U.S. schools educate on sexual misconduct, bullying & violence to combat epidemic.

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Sexual harassment, sexual assault, violence, and bullying. These issues, or epidemics of which you could call them, are very vital issues that resonate our entire society. They are issues that are so pervasive, not only here in the United States, but across the entire globe. It happens in the workplace, in families, at school, at home and all over the world, while victimizing our fellow citizens, neighbors, friends, co-workers and family members. These are women, men, children; all ages and genders fall victim to it. In the United States, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 33 men will fall victim to sexual harassment or assault at some point in their lifetime, over 3.2 million students fall victim to bullying each year, and on average 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner. These are only numbers of which have been reported.

What we so often see time after time all across our globe is a culture where these issues are hidden deep within the darkest of shadows, whether that be due to consternation, power of authority, and so on. This must end, this issue is rampant and it is crucial that we combat these issues of which cripple society daily, and that we try to reduce these numbers we see in our statistics if at all possible, in any way we possibly can. We must not stand by and remain silent. Enough is enough.

One major way in which we can accomplish reducing these numbers in our statistics is by providing proper education through programs, courses, discussions and assemblies on these topics in schools across our nation. I believe if we work on providing education on these topics, and educate students when they are younger, that they will learn proper manners and behaviors, and within our future generations we will see a significant decrease of sexual harassment, sexual assault, violence, and bullying within our statistics. This will change the culture. Through these programs, we can establish and arrange curriculum that educates students on how to prevent these issues from taking place, how to intervene and handle the situations when they hear about or see them happening, educate them about consent, and teach them how to defend themselves if they find themselves in one of these uncomfortable, harassing or violent situations; self defense should be a required course in schools. It is essential we seek change and educate both boys and girls more thoroughly on the basis of what behaviors are right and wrong, on what’s acceptable and what isn’t, that this type of obscene behavior towards others is unacceptable, and can be detrimental to ones health. We must teach students to keep their hands to themselves, to not touch someone else unless that touch is welcomed, to be kind, compassionate and respectful to others, and to know that when someone confides in them, telling them that they have witnessed or experienced something, that they must listen and never silence a victim.

There is evidence that providing education on these topics within schools reduces the numbers in statistics. In Nairobi, Kenya, consent and self-defense classes have been taught to students in schools; in these classes, girls are taught how to defend themselves and how to say no, while boys are taught to stand up for women, intervene when they see a problem, among many other things as well. Before the classes were being taught, boys said it was justifiable to rape a girl who wears mini skirts, are taken on expensive dates, are out alone at night, etcetera; however in only six classes their thoughts towards the issue changed, that behavior significantly shifted. The success seen since teaching these classes is truly remarkable. The numbers of rape and violence in Nairobi have shifted lower dramatically. In areas where these classes are taught, rape has reduced by 50%, and 74% of the time boys successfully intervened when witnessing an assault. These classes are hosted by 'No Means No Worldwide' and the will soon be taught in every high school in Nairobi, Kenya. You can read more about No Means No Worldwide here: https://www.nomeansnoworldwide.org/about/

If we can establish and bring courses and programs like that into our schools here in the United States, the numbers we see in our statistics of sexual harassment, sexual assault, violence and bullying will likely shift downward drastically. Society must step up; we owe at least this to future generations, we bear the responsibility in changing the culture that has enabled sexual harassment, sexual assault, violence and bullying to continue on this long. It’s on us, we must all work together to reduce these horrific numbers we continually see daily. Let's speak up, and shout, “NO MORE!”. Let's see if there is a way to provide education on these topics in schools across our nation. I'm not sure if this would be considered, and I realize I may be up for a big battle, but it’s worth it. Please join me in letting those in power know if there is a way they can establish something like this, that we want it and believe it's needed as a step to combat this epidemic. I am asking you to please sign and share this petition in effort to at least try and make this happen, and raise awareness on these issues. Thank you.