Rachel Mark | | email@example.com
When I first stepped foot on campus for my second year at Ohio University, I never would have imagined that my email would be flooded with warnings from the Ohio University Police Department about multiple rapes and even a kidnapping. Within a small span of two weeks, four rapes were already reported. I really tried to not think about the assaults that have occurred but have gone unreported and unnoted.
The streets that I used to feel safe on suddenly turned eerie and sinister. I found myself constantly looking around when I had to walk home alone from Baker one night. Every car that passed had me jumping, wondering if I would be thrown inside, and every male that walked behind me on the sidewalk made me nervous and ready to run in a moment’s notice. I hated feeling completely terrified every time I had to walk somewhere at night, and it hurt knowing thousands of other women on campus were feeling the same exact way.
Since some students at Ohio University still cannot grasp the basic concept of consent, I felt that there needed to be a crash course for those students still struggling with the very complicated phrase of “no.”
How To Understand Consent Like A Human Being
1. If someone tells you “no,” don’t have sex with that person, and don’t touch that person.
2. If someone tells you “I don’t know,” you’re making them uncomfortable, and this is not an opportunity to practice your persuasion skills.
3. “I guess” is still not a solid “yes.”
4. If the person gives no response, the answer is no. Silence does not equal yes.
5. The person can revoke their decision at any time! Consent is not a legal binding contract. Anyone is allowed to change their mind and back out.
6. Consent equals a clear, enthusiastic yes.
7. If the person is slurring his or her words and is incapable to stand, they are in no way able to make a thoughtful decision on consent.
8. Giving a person more alcohol in order to get them to say “yes” is not consent.
The most important thing people can remember to do is to not be a bystander. Make sure your friends are safe and not walking around alone. If you see a person at a party that is clearly not okay, make sure they get home safe with the right people. If one of your friends is not taking no for an answer, call them out on their inappropriate actions.
Overall, I’m glad I’m part of a community that takes assaults seriously. Our little town has put in effort to stop assaults from the giant GroupMe made to make sure people get home safe, to the banners that sororities and fraternities have hung outside their houses and even to local businesses, such as Lotsa Pizza, which offers a safe place for students to go when they feel in danger. As you can tell, our students of Ohio University have been working hard to offer aid and protection to our fellow Bobcats.