“An estimated one in five women has been sexually assaulted during her college years—one in five. Of those assaults, only 12 percent are reported, and of those reported assaults, only a fraction of the offenders are punished.”
Arizona State University, says that while women, statistically, are more likely to be sexually assaulted, this is a crime that happens to men, as well, and crosses all races, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds.
She says one way in which ASU is attempting to combat sexual assault is by talking to students “about consent and what that means.” This last school year, in fact, about half the ASU student body, or about 35,000 individuals, voluntarily took part in an online education program called Consent and Respect. ASU is also home to Devils in the Bedroom, a sexual health peer education program with a focus on sexual violence prevention. Twice a year, Devils in the Bedroom hosts Consent Week, an event organized by the ASU student-led group, “I ALWAYS Get Consent,” whose founder was raped during her freshman year at the school.
It’s important for this kind of discussion to happen, Grab says, because people tend to be confused about what consent is. Some may think they have consent when they actually don’t, and others simply make assumptions they shouldn’t make, she notes.
“The message should be that if someone says no, that doesn’t mean, ‘convince me.’ And just because the person doesn’t say no, that doesn’t mean yes,” she says. “People will say, ‘Oh, I thought this…’ or ‘It seemed like…’ That is all very subjective.”
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