This week at the University of Oregon, various groups will be raising awareness and offering classes to educate and inform students about sexual violence and the steps you can take to protect yourself. Starting today, the University is putting out thousands of flags on the Knight Library Memorial Quad to represent individuals who are assaulted on and near the campus.
This has become a very important topic to me since I was assaulted in April. It was a terrible experience and unfortunately, I am still dealing with it. I went to see a therapist and spent many months terrified to leave my house. I knew I couldn’t let this guy get away with anything, so I spoke up. I told everyone who would listen and I did what most people refuse to do: I told the police. I didn’t want him to try and hurt me again, and I certainly didn’t want anyone else going through the hell I went through. It hurts to know that so many people are assaulted and remain silent, so I’ve been doing all I can to try and raise awareness by speaking to support groups on campus and donating to causes. If you have been a victim of sexual assault or violence, know you are not alone and you do not need to stay silent. This is your body, your rights and your life. Speak up and be proud to raise awareness. We’ll all get through this, but it will be a much smoother and rewarding process if we stand up and do this together. I believe in you.
If you need help contact your nearest support group or hotline, there are thousands across the nation that are waiting and willing to help you through this.