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They’re the predators; you’re the prey

Throughout April, the counseling center has tried to spread awareness about rape and sexual assaults with signs all over campus. Some of the numbers presented should be enough to scare most people into being cautious but, then again, I don’t think being aware of the danger is the problem these days.
We’re all aware of the danger. We’re just ignoring it.
According to the crime reports from the “Jeanne Clery Disclosure Act,” there have been two reported counts of forcible sex offenses on campus and four reported rapes off campus.
However, don’t let the numbers fool you. I’m not suggesting there’s an epidemic in Valdosta, but keep in mind that these numbers only represent the number of cases involving VSU students and those reported to the VSU police. And if you’ve learned anything from the signs around campus, then you would have realized by now that a bulk of these crimes go unreported by the victims, their friends, and even witnesses.
It’s no mystery why a victim doesn’t report rape or sexual assault. However, most people don’t realize that they can still get the help they need without involving the cops. A victim can still go to the counseling center or the HAVEN Rape Crisis Center without having to file a police report on the incident. In fact, an assaulted woman can even request an examination by a nurse to collect evidence in case she decides later on to file a police report. Even if someone doesn’t want to get the police involved, it’s important for them to know they can always seek help.
However, I hope that anyone who has been sexually assaulted would report it to the police. If you don’t report it for yourself, then do it for the others who might have come before and those who will come after you.
Of course, the ideal step is preventing such a thing from happening in the first place.
Don’t get me wrong ladies, you have just as much of a right to go out and have fun as the rest of us. Only douchebags buy into the rape myth. However, you have to accept the risks that come with being surrounded by alcohol and hormones.
Remember that these people are predators, which makes you the prey. If you want to go out into the wild, then you’ve got to be ready for everything. Go out in groups, drink from bottles and cans, and follow every instinct that concerns your personal safety. If you ever feel unsafe, for whatever reason, act accordingly. We tend to pass things off as irrational fear, like assuming that all gunshots are just a car backfiring.
Don’t be naïve. If your gut tells you something is wrong, then it’s wrong enough to warrant immediate action. This also goes for everyone in the social scene, not just potential victims. If you see someone pumping alcohol into a girl, messing with drinks, or leading a girl away from the public’s eye, it’s time to act.
Don’t write it off as paranoia when someone’s life is on the line. Report to anyone who can help (cops, ideally), intercept, do something other than ignoring it. You’re adults; you know a bad scene when it’s staring back at you. No one should be left to fend for themselves just because you’re too embarrassed to speak out.
Now, this brings me to the rumors on campus. You should know that there’s no proof between Greek Life and the VSUPD of there being a “Rape House” at VSU. If there was, then it would have been dealt with by now. This doesn’t mean that you ladies should be any less careful out there, just throwing that information out there.
Of course, if something did ever happen at any of these college parties, I’m sure you would have reported it by now…
Wouldn’t you?

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