By Elena Eu
A staggering one in five women and one in sixteen men are sexually assaulted while in college, yet more than 90% of sexual assault survivors on college campuses do not report the assault. One in five — that statistic is so high it’s almost incomprehensible.
(Disclaimer: Only personally knowing of female survivors, I’m going to focus on the “one in five” statistic, but do not disregard the fact that men are victims of assault as well.)
For the longest time, one in five was only a statistic for me: it was something that happened to many women on college campuses but didn’t affect me personally. It’s so easy to hear the numbers and understand the statistics about sexual assault but never take them to heart. For the longest time, because I hadn’t properly understood the magnitude of the problem, I never truly had a passion to educate my community and fight for change. However, after being at UCLA for over a year and having had sat through many tear-filled conversations with some of my closest friends about their experiences, the gravity of that statistic finally hit me. Sexual assault is a fucking prevalent issue that affects those around you whether you want to believe it or not. You might be sitting next to a survivor in your lecture, your discussion, or live next door to one in the residence halls.
While this statistic may seem daunting, for survivors, it may provide comfort — you are not alone. Many may share similar experiences with you and are more than willing to help you heal. For passionate individuals, it may fuel your passion to fight to make a difference and lower this statistic. I’m thankful for the Bruin Consent Coalition in providing me an amazing opportunity to educate the community and support survivors together in solidarity.