George Washington University conducted a survey in which they asked 811 women if they had ever been harassed simply walking down a street and minding their own business. 808 responded yes. That is 99% of women surveyed. Statistics like these should not exist in the world we live in.
Personally, I feel like the reason for this 99% positive reaction is due to lack of education. No one is teaching these people that sexual harassment, in any form, is incredibly wrong. It is never funny, never cute, and never, ever acceptable.
Girls: when was the last time you were called by the guy you met on the street? You know, that guy who you turned back around to get his number because he seemed super genuine and might have the potential to value you as a person?
Boys: when was the last time you whistled or yelled at a girl walking by and you accomplished something? Did she say thank you and seem interested in you? Or did she roll her eyes, seem disgusted, and walk away?
Sexual harassment and assault is real, but it is not always reported. I can vouch for this because I have been in this position. About a month ago, I was at Walmart around 9 PM getting paint for a project. I was in the store for a total of about 15 minutes, the first time. I grabbed the paint I needed and proceeded down the craft aisle and then a man approached me as I was walking by. There was a cart in the aisle and little room to move through. I politely moved over to the side as he reached out his hand and rubbed my leg in a suggestive manner.
At first, I was completely shocked and scared. Looking back, I wish I would have said something, but like most victims in these situations, I was just really scared. My first instinct was to quickly walk away and pay for my things and leave, as I did.
Once I got to my car, my mom texted me saying she needed an additional color of paint. So, I had to go back in. I shared with her what had happened to me inside. She immediately called me and told me to tell an associate ASAP.
I had to talk to three Walmart associates until someone actually took me seriously and got me in contact with a manager. Had my mom not pushed me to tell an associate, I would not have reported it. I would not have talked to a police officer, and I would not have attempted to raise awareness about sexual assault.
In the whole scheme of things, there will always be bad people in the world who will do things that make no sense to others. Realistically speaking, we will never live in a world completely free of hunger, free of homelessness, or free of sexual assault. All that can be done is raise awareness about how wrong this truly is.
If you or someone you know ever feels uncomfortable or gets put into a situation like this, TELL SOMEONE. Report it and make a difference.