BY STEPHANIE DOLCE
We live in a society that teaches women to be careful not to get raped instead of teaching men not to rape. If you want to know why we need to educate men not to be sexually aggressive, look no further than Sayreville, NJ. For those who haven’t heard the story yet, they have canceled their football program due to hazing gone completely and utterly overboard into criminal.
It started with a howl like a wolf, and then the lights went out for a few seconds in the locker room until the victim was chosen. The victim was most likely always a freshman. The football player was pinned by other upperclassmen and a finger was forced into his rectum and sometimes that same finger was then put into his mouth. This is clearly pasted bullying or hazing of any kind, this on the boarder of sodomy. And to think that a parent actually stood up at the board meeting and played this off as, “…but no one died.” is also disturbing! Does she not clearly understand what sodomy and sexual assault is? Can I tie in what happens with NFL players after they do “unspeakable things” to what is happening today? Without a doubt, simply because if you look at some of the crimes some NFL players have committed and how they were still allowed to get millions of dollars of salary, besides still being allowed to play, you can make the correlation between how the NFL handles sex crimes and what happened in Sayreville.
The bottom line is that men need to be involved in the conversation about sexual violence. And we have to stop this denial that kids in high school are sexually experimenting with their sexuality, to the point where some girls and boys do therefore become sexually aggressive. Period.
If you don’t believe me then the following statistics are stomach turning and I am only talking high school aged students with rape, sexual assault and other sex crimes.
Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year. One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.
Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence — almost triple the national average.
About 72% of eighth and ninth graders are “dating”.
Only 33% of teens who were in a violent relationship ever told anyone about the abuse.
Ages 12-34 are the years with the highest risk.
Only around 36% of injured victims receive medical care.
Nearly 6 out of 10 sexual assault incidents were reported by victims to have occurred in their own home or at the home of a friend, relative, or neighbor.
43% between 6:00pm and midnight
Sexual assault is one of the most under-reported crimes, with an average of 39% being reported to the police each year.
Clearly, violence in the media does contribute to the violence in society. Many violent acts are perpetrated by the “good guys” whom kids have been taught to emulate. Even though kids are taught by their parents that it isn’t right to hit, television or music says it’s okay to bite, kick, or hit if you’re the “good guy.” So what are we supposed to do? How can we make teens see that just because television and music tell us that it’s okay to do violent things if we are the “good guy” that idea is false?
That is the hard task for many, many parents today. See, the common belief is what leads the average celebrity want- to- be into acting out violently, despite the morals that they’re been taught. One can confidently conclude that the desire to be known will drive one to imitate their violent idols too by acting out violently and do one better than them. The media seems to devour stories that deal with violence, sex, and abuse. But what they are actually doing probably subconsciously is setting the scene for young people to commit crimes.
Since so many criminals do go unpunished in TV crimes, it is very easy for people to create a wall of ignorance between themselves and the real consequences true crimes bring. The same can be said about sex, rape, and abuse. Teens and young adults are bombarded with images of sex to the point where they start to feel the pressure that, that’s what they should be doing and that it is okay.
Most of them are not ready for relationships with the opposite sex or intimate relationships but because the media constantly feeds it to them, dating violence among teens and young adults have risen. In order to stop this culture, to stop this from happening year after year, we need to keep a better handle on what exactly our children are watching, listening to, and reading to then be able to educate them about the difference between reality and fantasy. It is only when we take a more active role, and stand up and say that this behavior is wrong, that we will culminate change.
[Source used: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry]