**The content of this article contains content that may be triggering, or emotionally unsettling but reflects very much the reality faced on many college campuses regularly.**
Sexual assault on college campuses, at bars, and elsewhere has been put on the back-burner for too long.
Lady Gaga teamed up with the creators of The Hunting Ground, a documentary about the campus rape crisis at colleges nationwide, for this groundbreaking project. She has finally brought this issue to light with her latest music video, released late Thursday night, for her single, “Til It Happens to You.”
The music video features graphic images of sexual assault, very similar to that which happens on college campuses every day. With an issue as deserving for the spotlight as this, it’s a must see. Check it out:
Pretty bone-chilling to think that this happens daily on our college campuses. The Journal of Adolescent Health reported in an early 2015 study that 20 percent of all college women are victimized by sexual assault in college. That’s one in every five women being raped, abused, and broken down on college campuses. A Center for Disease Control report showed that almost 20 percent of all women are victims of rape or attempted rape during their lifetimes as well.
Turn around in your desk, office chair, gym, etc. the chances are, one or more of the women in that room have been sexually assaulted.
So why hasn’t this been talked about as much as it has in the last 72 hours?
College campuses across the nation have been pushed to conduct their own studies regarding sexual assault in order to reevaluate their current safety standards. Check out these statistics on instances of sexual assault on a widespread area of the nation’s college campuses as seen in the Huffington Post.
- Princeton University: 1-in-6 women said in a survey they had been sexually assaulted.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology: 17 percent of women and 5 percent of men in a survey said they’d experienced sexual assault.
- University of Oregon: 10 percent of women had been raped, and 35 percent had at least one forcible sexual encounter.
- Occidental College: Nearly 8 percent of students said they’d been sexually assaulted.
- Kansas State University: Less than 1 percent said in a survey they’d experienced unwanted sexual contact at the school.
- University of Kansas: More than 1-in-10 had experienced sexual harassment or assault at the school.
So if these statistics are available, why has sexual assault been kept a hush-hush topic for so long? No matter how many bills are passed, how many grants are received, how many suspensions are issued, or how many studies are conducted, sexual assault will always be an underlying issue on college campuses because people simply do not understand the issue until it happens to them. If people can’t relate to the issue at hand, then why should they care?
Just recently, a student at Northern Kentucky University carried a mattress around on her back across campus to draw attention to the way the university handled her sexual assault complaint. A group of students joined her in a peaceful, but potent, protest against the “alarmingly large part American society, particularly on college campuses.” The student, who had won her case against the male that sexually assaulted her on campus, was upset and enraged that the male had returned to school for the fall semester, just six months after the incident.
From Connecticut College and Columbia University to USC and Fordham University, college students across the country are holding similar protests in show of their support for the victims of the ever-growing sexual assault crises that campuses are facing.
Whether it means joining the Carrying the Weight Together campaign, speaking out about personal stories and encounters, or peacefully protesting to raise awareness about sexual assault, it is important to break the silence.
This is why this generation has been constantly referred to as the generation of change. This is why this video will be the fuel to the fire for so many victims and supporters nationwide. This is why we need to be the voices behind the movement and say, “I support survivors of sexual and domestic violence, and I am helping carry the weight.” Use the hashtags #CarrytheWeight, #tilithappenstoyou, or #breakthesilence to show your support, or feel free to share your story with us below!
The National Sexual Assault Hotline is
Featured Image via screengrab of Lady Gaga’s video.