VIDEO: Strengthening The Voices To Combat Sexual Assault

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Society, as a whole, has evolved over the years but more recently in the women’s position.

The women’s rights movement began nearly a century ago but a lot of the issues women were fighting against then continue today.

“What if nothing happens? What was the whole point of even saying it,” said MSU Student Alexandria Johnson.

A person dealing with sexual assault usually feels a wide range of emotions like; shame, loneliness, embarrassment, and judgement.

Dr. Kimberly Kelly says those emotions could be a result of how accusations like these are weighed when they surfaced.

“When people do bring accusations forward they’re not believed, it’s just she said he said or people will say it wasn’t that serious, you misinterpret it, he was just flirting or the powers to be are just simply indifferent,” said Kelly.

Those who’ve come forward about being sexually assaulted by; Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Bill Cosby, and Roy Moore all have something in common.

“The prominence of the men being accused. Media moguls, ministers are men that have entrusted with leading our most important institutions; our economy, finance, politics. Some have been behaving in ways that are directly detrimental to not only the responsibilities they hold but to the women that work there as well. They aren’t being held accountable and I think there is a sense of anger of refusal to tolerant this anymore,”said Kelly.

MSU Sophomore Grant Adams says he is very close with his sister. He says if she experienced sexual assault he would have to help her find her voice so it wouldn’t happen to anyone else.

“I would just tell her not to be afraid of what people think or what it would do to you in your career or where ever you are in life. It’s more important, that the people who are committing these sexual assaults and illegal activities  are stopped to protect others. At the same time it can help you cope with what happened to you,”said Adams.

Kelly says the only way combat sexual assault is to know what it looks like.

” First step is awareness, for example; if you ask a lot of women and girls, have you ever been sexually harassed many might say no but if you give them a specific example of a behavior. Has anyone ever grabbed you’re buttocks or breast without you’re permission? Has anyone ever made comments about you’re body or appearance that made you feel uncomfortable at work. When you start asking them specific questions then the numbers come out ,”said Kelly.

The equal opportunity commission issued a report in 2016 indicating between 25 and 85 % of women have experienced harassment on the job. Only 25 % will report it and of the 25 % more than 3 quarters will experience retaliation.

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