Breaking cycle of silence could cancel rape culture


photo or infographic by Wildkat Media

JUST A CALL AWAY. Silence is not the answer. Seeing help is the only way things will get better.

“Every 68 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. And every nine minutes, that victim is a child. Meanwhile, only 25 out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison.”

This statistic from is staggering. 

Ignoring it does not make it stop. Being sexually assaulted or violated should not be a taboo subject, but rather a matter that should be spoken openly about. Change will never happen if the silence remains. 

A person can feel attacked without physically being assaulted. Rape culture is the widespread normalization of sexual assault. People have devolved to blaming the victim, making jokes about it and dismissing their predicament as “typical.” This has made people feel powerless when they are catcalled, slut-shamed or ashamed about their circumstances because this makes them believe their opinion or viewpoints are invalid. 

It might seem minor, but invading someone’s personal space, touching someone inappropriately in the halls or asking inappropriate questions causes and grows the rape culture. If a community or society assumes that sexual violence is a fact of life, it is by definition a rape culture. Speaking inappropriately to someone or asking them strange questions are both examples of growing this culture. By reading body language or simply asking if the attention is wanted can help avoid stepping over the line by accident. Some people may claim that everything is alright, but this is not always the case. So, if people seem to be uncomfortable in any way, stop.

Because sexual assault is such a delicate subject for some individuals, it is not often discussed. When someone exploits someone else’s body in any way without their consent, it is known as sexual assault. Because people are not educated about it, many people that are victims think something is wrong with them and are too scared to speak out about it. Being a victim of this felony can cause tolls on their mental health such as PTSD, depression, self-harm, substance abuse, dissociation, panic attacks, eating disorders, sleep disorders and can even lead to feelings of suicide. 

By talking about this and getting help for men and women who have been exploited or victimized, the problem can get better. There are people on campus, in the community and on a national scale who can help. If anyone is dealing with a sexual assault scenario, or know anyone who is, please call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800.656.4673 or seek adult support in getting help. If anyone needs assistance, please go to, which has a Sexual Assault Advocacy Program. Just talking to a counselor, teacher or staff member can be a good first start to get help.

Please help break this cycle of silence. No one deserves to be put in a situation where they should feel embarrassed or disgusted in themselves. Speak up and get help.