Every time I look at any given news outlet recently, there seems to be yet another politician, public figure, or athlete having to step down from their position due to sexual assault allegations against them being brought up. From Harvey Weinstein, to "America's Sweetheart" Matt Lauer, it seems as if this is becoming an every day norm to see strong male figures being found guilty of abusing their power against vulnerable women. It's easy to associate sexual assault with those holding major public platforms, but the heart-wrenching and frightening reality is that this is not an issue that is isolated to just occurring in the spotlight. Sexual assault is nothing new, it has always been present, it has always been a harmful issue that fails to be addressed. Sexual assault is in your school, workplace, college campuses, and even homes.
As a young woman with a heart set firmly on the corporate workplace, my heart is heavy with a fear and a sympathy towards women, like me, who are exposed to this issue in their daily lives. How thrilling it is to be a woman in a position of power; to know that you have worked your fingers to the bone and that you have climbed your way to the top. The view is breathtaking from up there, and the sense of pride and accomplishment is intoxicating. For this to be robbed of women due to sexual assault is absolutely unacceptable and disgusting. This leaves women feeling forced into a dangerous situation, in fear of losing their job that they worked so hard for, and strips them of any sense of dignity.
To any and every young man or woman who has dealt with sexual assault,
I am so sorry. I am so deeply sorry that your value and worth has not been recognized. I acknowledge your pain, and I applaud your courage to step forward and make your story known. To those that are too afraid to step forward, know that there is an entire community locked, loaded, and ready to come alongside you and support you through every step of the process. You are good for more than just being at the disposal of another human. You were created for a purpose. You are here because you have something to offer this world that no other human can. You are the brains behind an operation, the muscle behind a movement, and you are stronger than you know.
It is time to band together and pledge to do our part to raise awareness and put a stop to sexual assault. At Liberty University, #WePromise. Do you?