No excuse for abuse on the BC campus

Monique Hansen-Garcia, Reporter

Domestic violence and rape of college students cannot go unreported. Too often issues that happen at school, or even at home, go without ever being acknowledged. Statistics would have you believe that 1 in 4 female college students will be a victim of a rape or domestic violence incident.

Some national groups organize the information in order to educate the population, but what they cannot account for are the unreported crimes. Another important statistic is the crimes against males.

Yes, I did say male victims. Males can also become rape and domestic victims, too. Gender is not a factor; it’s just that men tend to not report the incident in higher numbers than the female counterpart. In societal views, women are coddled and supported when they are victims of such atrocities, whereas men are made fun of or not taken as seriously.

Domestic violence today is a different violence compared to that of older generations. The relationships may be between a man and man, two women, and the acceptance of the combativeness may be more of societies way of coping with the way that homosexuality and gender bias stereotypes are being broken. If you see a man hit a woman, your reaction is different than you would have for someone of the same sex assaulting another. When it’s the same sex, do we just feel that the playing field is even, and therefore are we justifying abuse?

In my personal opinion, domestic violence may be any form of hate, and we need to love one another more, or learn to love one another in healthy ways. When the arguments turn into abuse, reporting may feel hard to do, or the person will feel alone in the situation. It’s a lot harder allowing a person to constantly hurt you, than it is to report the incident or to seek help.

Rape is so commonplace in the society as we know it, comics make jokes, cartoons portray it as a funny adjective, and CSI shows would have you think that the case is so easy to solve that it can be handled in a matter of hours, or days.

We see rape called many things, like date rape, or drunken sex, and so we also justify the actions of others by looking away from a perpetrator to look at the victim as the one who brought the rape upon themselves. The reason we look past rape as an issue to be addressed is because of the backlash of those who use the word rape to get out of situations that they may feel embarrassed to cop to.

But, with all of the grandeur, the word rape can hold life lasting effects, even more so than that of domestic violence. Not reporting the incident can lead to another person experiencing the same thing you may have, or even worse, it may give the perpetrator confidence to act out on other evil things that go through her mind.

I had a friend that in spring of 2014 was stalked by another student who she did not know. The perpetrator decided one day to physically pick up my friend, invading her personal space, and then smacked her on her butt before he ran away. This was on the BC campus, his family was well known, and there had been previous complaints before. No other student ever pushed the issue of reporting this perpetrator who touched people inappropriately, either out of fear of the family, or thinking that the situation wasn’t serious enough to follow through with.

So this student remained on campus, allowed to roam the campus freely, because of the fear that others had in reporting the crime. Never let fear hold you back from reporting something as silly as it may seem to you. Talk to someone.

Sometimes it is hard to stand up for yourself, but all the time you should. BC offers counseling, which can aid in the aftermath of a rape or domestic violence incident.

Kern County and National Crisis services and hotlines are available to help those in need of guidance in what steps to take.

There is someone out there who may have been through the same thing. Maybe you think you aren’t strong enough, but if you are still alive, there is still hope. Report the crimes that people perpetrate on you, and never allow fear to reign in your life. The more you allow someone to help you though incidences, the easier it will be to tell your story. You never know who you may help by standing up for yourself.