It’s Time We Learn No Means No

Laura Deely, Staff Writer

Rape. It is a strong topic to write my first opinion piece on, but with the recent events at Slippery Rock University, I feel compelled to get my voice heard about the terrifying and horrific ordeal of getting assaulted.

Two individuals, Brian Chieze and Braydon Micaletti, were charged with raping another student on an off-campus location earlier this month, and I am dumb-founded to even think that someone would do such a thing to another human being.

How is it that these people don’t have any remorse or knowledge that what they did was wrong? I’ve seen it multiple times where guys think that they can get away with doing whatever they want because they feel as if they are entitled to have what they want when they want it. Well I’ve got news for these attackers: You don’t have the right to force another individual to do something they don’t want to!

Yet, a rape occurs every 10 minutes and sadly only 10 percent of them are reported to the authorities. What happens to the other 90 percent of victims? How do they cope with what happened to them if they never report it?

Sometimes reporting the crime may not seem like the best option, and victims may feel as if they are being attacked all over again because of having to go through the ordeal of preliminary hearings, court dates and rescheduled court dates, media coverage, harassment by those who don’t believe her and so on. The victim is looked at through a microscope, and is picked apart for every bit and piece of information. The information can be used to make a case against by saying: “She asked for it, or she led them on.”

It’s disgusting that these defense attorneys do everything in their power to make the victim look like the bad guy. Does that seem fair? Does that make any sense what so ever? Does this girl need to be put through the agony and pain of having her whole life broadcasted for everyone to see?

In rape cases there is one bottom line and that is when someone says no, whether they are intoxicated or not or said yes at first but then changed their mind, it still means no. It goes back to simply learning what the meanings of certain words are. Maybe these attackers need an English lesson because clearly they have no idea what the word “no” means.

The truly sad part about this is what happens to the victim. Their whole life is completely turned upside down and can never go back to the way it was before. Most suffer from depression, drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders; the list goes on and on.

I truly believe, however, that these victims have the power to stand up for what’s right and the power to stand up and take back their control if they choose to do so. It’s not an easy path to take, but it’s the only one that can lead them out of the dark and back to a semblance of normal life. What these victims need is the support and the courage to no longer be a victim, but to become a survivor.