Staff Editorial: Know the risks, options of sexual assault

For many people, the issue of sexual assault is one that is often ignored so as to avoid further conflict or discomfort. Yet, it's evident from the testimonies of our fellow students that sexual assault isn't something that we can just push aside.

With approximately 50 percent of all assaults going unreported, this crime occurs more frequently than any crime statistics can reveal. Such statistics highlight the fact that sexual assault is an unfortunate reality for many, giving students all the more reason to be educated about this crime.

While most college students take the minimum precautions to avoid any overt danger, these students fail to realize that sexual assault doesn't just happen in a back alley with a random stranger. In most cases, victims have been attacked by a friend or acquaintance, making the probability that you or someone you know can be a victim all the more real.

Though there's no way to completely avoid this potential risk, it is important to be aware of the resources and choices that Geneseo offers in the event that you or someone you know is affected by this tragic crime. Make sure that you or your friend seeks medical help as soon as possible. Whether you choose to go to Lauderdale or a nearby hospital, it's important to make sure your health hasn't been jeopardized by this traumatic experience. In addition, victims should consider taking advantage of the counseling services offered by Lauderdale, for simply attempting to erase the incident from your memory cannot erase the fear etched in your mind.

And while this ordeal can be overwhelming for victims, encourage your friends to report the crime. Victims shouldn't let their fear of a trial or the red tape of the legal system prevent them from seeking justice, because legal action is the best way to ensure that the suffering they endured doesn't happen to someone else.