The Common Issue: This is not okay

Photo credit: Kristine Delicana

It’s a sad day when you come to campus and overhear people talking about, “another girl getting assaulted.”

The fact that sexual assaults in Northridge have become almost an expected thing to hear about over the last month is unbelievable.

Just to put this in perspective, in the span of three weeks in October, there were three different cases reported.

That’s one person a week that was put into a position that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

Now you may be asking yourself, what makes me qualified to talk about this other than the fact that I have heard about it on campus.

Well, on Feb. 22, 2014 I was in San Francisco with friends exploring the city. We decided it would be fun to go to a house party an old high school friend was throwing. An hour into it I had had too much to drink and decided to go to sleep in the guest bedroom that was set aside for us.

That night I was sexually assaulted.

And while the details of what happened to me are not ones that I feel need to be shared, I do feel that it is important for people to have a perspective from someone who has been in that position.

Now I ask that you do not now call me a victim of sexual assault. I refuse to call myself a victim just as I refuse to say it about these women. This is not because what has happened to them isn’t horrible. But because calling me or anyone a victim gives the power to the person that committed the crime and they don’t deserve any of it. These women are strong for making it through this and they don’t deserve to be called a term that diminishes that.

As a consumer of news, I refuse to put my focus on the people that have committed these crimes. I believe in karma with everything that I am and I know that they will get more than what is coming to them.

What happened to me was not okay.

Just like what has happened to these women is not okay.

The fact that I can’t feel safe walking around my campus at night is not okay.

The fact that I hear people saying that it was a girl’s fault for walking alone at night is not okay.

As a woman I should be able to walk around wherever the hell I want to walk, whenever the hell I want to walk, and not have to worry about the shadow of a person following behind me.

Now I get that the world is not the picture perfect place that I would love for it to be, but if I can’t walk a mile outside of campus without having to feel like calling 911 there is a serious problem in the area.

But instead of continuing to focus on the negative I want to make sure that everyone knows about the services that CSUN offers to us.

Matador Patrol is a Personal Safety Escort that runs Monday through Thursday from dusk – 11 pm. Their phone number is (818) 677-5042 and website is www.csun.edu/police/matador-patrol.

There are over 75 blue boxes placed around campus for any medical emergency.

Also, Parking Services “Amber Light” Patrol is a free vehicle jumpstarts & lock-out assistance program on campus. Their number is (818) 677-2111 and their operations are “during the hours of darkness”.

Lastly, there is a 24 hour Police Dispatch in the area. If you don’t feel like 911 is the way to go, you can call (818) 677-2111 from any cell phone or x2111 from any campus phone

Always remember that we all deserve to feel safe.