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English Essay #1: Campbell

At Brigham Young University (BYU) in Idaho a student reported that she had been sexually assaulted by another student at BYU. The Mormon university investigated and eventually suspended the student who had sexually assaulted her, but the catch is that they also suspended the victim. They investigated and found out that the victim had been drinking before the assault which had resulted in the bishop revoking her endorsement, leaving her no longer in good standing at the university. In addition, to attend BYU “students must receive an ecclesiastical endorsement from their bishop confirming that they are committed to upholding Mormon values, like abstaining from premarital sex. Bishops can revoke the endorsement at any time.Those values, outlined in BYU’s Honor Code, also include abstaining from alcohol.” In this case, victims shouldn’t be condemned for actions they did not evoke. Regardless if the victim had consumed alcohol, does not give the school the right to punish her for being raped. This Mormon school is blaming her and implying that she deserved to get raped and punished by the school because she was drinking alcohol that night. What happened to this poor girl is inhumane and cruel. She didn’t deserve this especially after she had been taken advantage of and traumatized. This is why college campuses, should implement better laws and policies that prevent, protect, and punish rapists.

Implementing better laws and policies will help prevent these types of unfortunate occurrences from happening in the future. In order to do that administrators or staff who are in charge of creating laws/policies need to realize how important this is to colleges. It’s important for schools to be safe because ultimately it’s where we spend most of our time. I don’t think many students would want to be at a school that isn’t very secure, aware, or safe. By implementing new policies it would create a susceptible environment for students in general and students who have been victims of sexual assault to come forward and receive the help or guidance they need as well. People who have suffered from traumatic events have a very hard time opening up and feeling like themselves afterwards. Schools should care about these things because they still tend to happen because people aren’t paying attention or because schools are too lenient with the rules. Lastly, traumatic events like a sexual assault can result in a victim’s mental health to disintegrate. When things like this happen it’s very crucial for schools to get involved and show their students that they really do care about their well being, mental health, etc. Most importantly, colleges should want to make these schools safe, fun, and aware of the things that could happen, but they should never blame victims.

I’d like to address some possible issues or misconceptions that could arise from problems like these as well. I know administrators/staff may have this idea that they think their college is under control and is safe as it is, but there are always room to improve and no matter what colleges will not always be safe because in reality wherever you go it’s not necessarily always safe. However, colleges can always make new rules, they can also implement stricter rules, or can even create classes and workshops dedicated to safety and awareness. These are the types of actions that can really help students and improve their education, mental health, etc. With that being said, if all of these things are put into effect the college could definitely become a very well respected college because these are the things that people care about and want to raise awareness so that students can feel secure and safe. It’s the harsh reality, but I know people who are victims would very much appreciate these changes especially at schools.

Speaking of victims, I’d like to share the sole purpose on why I chose this topic and why it’s so important to me. I want to talk about a victim that I knew that had changed forever after her attack. A girl that I grew up very close with since we were kids had suffered from a sexual assault when she was 20-years old while in college. She was working as a YMCA supervisor for kids at elementary schools. One day she had gone to a party with her close friends and a few of her cousins and there had been alcohol at this party, but she didn’t drink because she was going to drive home later. She met a man at this party and he had a few too many drinks and he didn’t have a ride home, so she offered to drive him home and eventually this guy had sobered up a little and invited her over and she wanted to make sure he was fine, so she went over. However, this guy had convinced her to have sex with him and she ended up letting him, but after he tried she had changed her mind and he didn’t stop. He forced her through it after she told him to stop and after she continued saying “No! Stop! I don’t want to anymore!” After she finally got out of his house she called my sister sobbing on his front lawn asking if she could pick her up from his house. My sister finally got to her and picked her up. She told my sister everything and broke down. She didn’t sleep that night. She had suffered tremendously after her attack. She was ashamed, disgusted, fearful, and scared after this. She went home and never told anybody what had happened to her. She ended up falling into this very deep depression and soon began slacking at work and school. She isolated herself, started wearing very conservative clothes unlike what she wore before, she stopped eating, working out, etc. It came to the point where her younger sister was very concerned and reached out to a family member and questioned them about what had happened to her. The victims younger sister eventually found out she had been sexually assaulted, but the victim never reached out for help because she was embarrassed and had been dealing with so much she didn’t know how to cope with everything so she shut down. The victim’s younger sister had let her family know and eventually took the steps to give the victim proper help. A year and half after her attack she finally got back to who she was. It took awhile for her to open up and heal from this traumatic event that changed her life forever. In conclusion, she fought hard and did everything she could to pull herself out of this depression that was weighing her down and now she’s back to her normal routine, but she will never forget what happened to her will always be a part of her life and who she is as a person to this day.

Victims will always suffer with the anxiety, depression, ptsd, etc. after an attack. No matter how much time passes or how much they progress they will never forget the way that made them feel and the way that changed them. Victims feel ashamed, embarrassed, depressed, vulnerable, etc. This triggers many emotions that they can’t control. Regardless of what the situation was these victims should never be at fault for what was not under their control. Could you imagine how bad a person would feel after something like this happens? Can you explain what emotions they feel after being taken advantage of? In addition to that, the student at BYU is being stripped away of her education all because there was alcohol involved. How cruel is that? To penalize a poor victim right after she had been sexually abused. BYU should be ashamed to do something like that. After reading about that poor student I felt anger. Anger resides in my heart for this victim. The situation wasn’t the best, but this attacker only got suspended. Yes, suspended and then the victim of sexual assault had gotten suspended right after him all because alcohol was involved. Nobody should have to withhold this type of pain and be punished for it.

To conclude, I’d like to say that with all the stories I’ve read and heard from people I knew personally it showed me a very different perspective. I learned to listen to the victims experience. I got to witness a person who meant very much to me break down and relive that horrific moment in her life again. I don’t think anybody who has never gone through something like this will ever understand the amount of pain they carry within. They will always carry that burden and that memory of something so disturbing and atrocious in their heart and mind which is why I chose this topic. This topic affected me because I had a close relationship with the person who went through this. I wanted to bring awareness to this topic and express my views and opinions that reside with me. In hindsight, colleges should be a safe place and administrators/staff have the power to execute change to make it a safer environment for everyone, create a sense of peace for victims, and put a stop to rapists getting away with rapes.

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