EDITORIAL: There needs to be more education on steps after a sexual assault

Editorial Board

A sexual assault is an extremely difficult thing for anyone to experience, or to know someone close to you who has experienced this. The next steps can be difficult, but the problem is, not everyone knows what the next steps are.

Where do survivors go? Who can I report this to? What do I do if I know someone who has been assaulted?

For a lot of people, these questions go unanswered and they are left to guess or sometimes not doing anything because it is extremely overwhelming. Some people do not even know what happened to them until they later talk to someone.

We at The News are calling for more education surrounding the subject. Not just awareness, education. Education on the next steps, who to contact, what you can do after a certain time, and how to support the ones you care about.

There are many agencies like the EIU Health and Human and SACIS (Sexual Assault Counseling and Information Services) that provide information and awareness. But does the general public know about these? To one person it may seem obvious that these services are around, but how do we know for sure?

Eastern has had events like this month’s sexual assault awareness campaign. This was hosted by the Health Education Resource Center (HERC). But these events were all optional. None were mandatory to attend.

There are mandatory trainings each student needs to complete upon enrolling as a student at Eastern during their first semester. But there are plenty of people who click through and just guess on the questions not really learning much.

What if there was a live training that encompassed, in depth what to do? Each step gone over and discussed so that everyone who has questions can ask them. You cannot really ask a pre-recorded training video questions, how to interpret emotions, or how to inform your friend that they have been assault without realizing it.

As a society, we need to be more aware of what to do when addressing these situations. There can devastating consequences if one misses a step and it can even ruin an investigation in some circumstances. So how do we avoid this and move forward?

There needs to be a universal education that is well informed and give modern examples and situations. This needs to be for everyone, not just college students, even though a lot of sexual violence happens on college campuses.

What else can be done by just educating yourself? A lot.

You can educate others with the correct information and encourage others to learn about proper practices and awareness in general. A lot can be changed when people are educated and spread proper and fact-checked information.

We at The News stand with and support survivors of all types of sexual violence and encourage others to educate themselves, spread awareness, and prevent this violence in your communities and general surroundings. If you see something, speak up.


The Editorial Board can be reached at 581-2812.