Uncomfortable

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

This is a short essay that I had to come up with for a class. I thought that more people needed to hear it, and it's something that needs to be said.

Hello, my name is Anonymous and in Today’s world, women of all ages and races have all been victims of one thing, sexual harassment. Now before one guy says “not all men do that” this isn’t about all men. The topic has never been about all men, so if you find yourself uncomfortable or upset with this topic you should probably think about why you feel that way. With recent events on Twitter of the #metoo movement, we have seen one thing in common, when something happens most women are afraid to tell someone or blame themselves. So everyone can know what harassment is like from start to beginning I’m going to take you through the process of who it happens to, what the police do, and what the lasting mental effect can be.

For as long as I can remember my mom always told me to be careful when I walk home alone and to try to be in a group, she wasn’t necessarily afraid of a white van getting too close but more afraid of anyone who saw me as an object and not a person. Sexual harassment can be anything from physical to verbal and can start at any age. “A new survey created by a non-profit organization called stop street harassment found 81% of women have experienced some form of sexual harassment in their life”. Out of those who took the online survey it found that the most common age was anywhere between the ages of 14 and 17 at “27%”.  Now that we know sexual harassment can happen to anyone at any age the first thing I have found most men say is “well who did you tell?” “did you call the police?” The police would do something right? I mean it’s not like women get blamed for getting harassed. 

So what happens when you go to the police? We have all seen the shows like Law and Order where they help the victims and you see the bad guy go away so that must be how it works, correct? Let’s look at the Criminal justice system statistics to help us imagine what it's going to be like, out of the 1,000 sexual harassments only 230 people will come forward to put into retrospect 3 out of 4 women won’t tell someone or the police. So now that we came to the police were one of the 230 so what next? Only 46 of those 230 will lead to an arrest, so let’s just say our culprit got arrested, that should be good, right? They’re arrested so they can’t do that anymore right? Out of those 46 cases, nine will go to prosecution out of those nine, five will lead to a felony conviction. Out of those five,  four-point six will get arrested. From the original 230 out of the thousand that happens only about five people will get arrested. Looking at those odds in your mind do you believe your assailant will be arrested? Can you say going to the police, reliving what could have been the worst moment in your life, was worth it. Let’s say in this scenario they did in fact get arrested, then it has to be over. That’s it right?

So what happens next? According to Rainn “One survey that focused on teenage girls who had been sexually assaulted found that after a few months following the event, 80% of them developed one mental health disorder and 55% had at least two mental health disorders”. This can be anywhere from PTSD, depression, anxiety, or even eating disorders.  Even after the long trial, and being questioned about every little thing even what you were wearing as if your outfit takes away your consent, we know have to live every day in a body that no longer feels like our own. We know have to live every day in fear so we try to get help and maybe we do get help. As time passes we may start to tell people who we are comfortable around only to hear yet again those horrid words of “it happens to boys too”.

From a young age, I knew to never be alone, not because I didn’t want the van to ever catch up to me, but I knew if it ever did that there was always a possibility that no one would believe me.  From a young age, girls were taught how to keep themselves covered and that showing too much skin is “asking for it”.  We know that out of the thousand women who get assaulted only 230 will report it and 4.6 will have the assailant arrested. We know that even after our assailant gets arrested we will have a memory we don’t want, engraved in our minds permanently. We know that no matter how much we move on we can’t forget. We will have these memories forever so why don’t we talk about them more. Why don’t we hear the good guy win for once? Simple the same people who say “it happens to boys too” are going to be the first to ask what you were wearing. Women aren’t the problem and that scares the men, fewer women are staying silent so you have to hear what we say and what we went through, even if it makes you uncomfortable cause it happened to me too. And with today’s movement women arent going to stay silent for much longer, with this generation supporting victims more women will feel safe to tell their story. The world can change, but only if you allow it, even if it makes you uncomfortable.

 


Submitted: April 27, 2021

© Copyright 2021 e.r.scolline. All rights reserved.

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