How One Ohio Campus is Taking Sexual Assault Prevention Into Their Own Hands

As most of us were enjoying the first few weeks on campus, Ohio University in Athens, OH was in the middle of a battle. From the beginning of classes until October 5, there have been sixteen reports of sexual assault on and near campus. Sixteen reports, not including anyone that never stepped forward. Students realized this issue and stepped forward to fight against it.

 Sure, we all have seen signs outside of Greek life houses saying funny comments, especially during beat Georgia week, but sororities and fraternities are taking to spray painted bedsheets to spread a message against sexual violence. “No does not mean convince me”, “her little black dress does not mean yes” and "our bodies our rules” were some of the slogans posted outside of Greek life housing. Sorority sisters are telling each other to walk together and keep in contact as they are coming back to houses. Since the reporting of assaults over a thousand students have joined in a group chat for safety, connecting students to walk with each other if they feel that they are unsafe.

Students are not just taking preventative measures though, they are actively trying to change the culture. From speaking out in panels to participating in a campus march, both guys and girls want this scare to end. Everyone deserves to feel safe and everyone deserves to be able to live their life without fear. We can all learn a bit from OU’s attitude towards assaults and rape culture.

Every college campus has a problem with violence whether it be published or not, it is our choice as students to take a stand against it or let it control our campus. As women, we will always be on high alert which is just the culture we live in. Being scared to walk alone past dusk, always checking your back when you walk to your car, keeping mace on your person – they are all items that unfortunately in the foreseeable future won’t be completely eliminated. But now, at least on one campus, assault is an open conversation.

Keep the conversation going OU, and props to you for committing to the cause of protecting those who could be potential victims.