The Ballard Talisman

Sexual assault is bigger than you think

A deeper look inside one of the biggest yet quietest issues in America

Lila Gill, Staff Reporter

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Sexual assault is defined by the Department of Justice as: any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.

It’s usually thought of as not that big a deal or just a little bit worse than sexual harassment but not as bad as rape. And that women are the only ones who fall victim to it.

Karen Boudour, Teen Health Center Nurse Practitioner.

But it is important to remember that these stereotypes are dangerous. Saying something so bad as sexual assault is “not so bad” makes it easier for people to commit crimes. And by assuming women are the only victims, men are forced to deal with uncomfortable situations.


In a survey done of the Ballard community on sexual assault, 100 percent of the males who had been victims of sexual assault claimed that they did not report it. 36 percent of participants said they think it’s likely that they will be sexually assaulted and/or raped after high school. And 43 percent of victims said the assailant was someone that they knew.

This school is fortunate in that it has a place for students to get help with whatever they need. Located in the commons, the Teen Health Center is where to go for all things health and sex related. Karen Boudour, Nurse Practitioner in the THC is who to go to when a student wants to report a rape.

“On average, I meet one student per week that has a history of sexual harassment or assault, not necessarily rape,” Boudour said, “If a crime has been committed, it needs to be reported if it has not already been reported.  However, we always try to work with the student to make sure that the reporting is done in such a way that it does not make the situation worse.”

So why do people ignore it? Why do they say “it was nothing?” Why do people protect assailants?

Most likely, it’s because of fear. Fear of being attacked again, fear of losing a friend, fear of being discriminated against because of what happened.

This fear is a dangerous thing. By not speaking out, the attacker is told that what they did was okay.

The gift of fear is knowing when the red flags go up and acting upon it. Knowing when to leave a situation, knowing when to get help.

It is important for the message to be spread about sexual assault and all the dangers behind it because the more talked about it is, the less fearful it will be, and more people will get help.

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One Response to “Sexual assault is bigger than you think”

  1. Paige Anderson on December 1st, 2017 2:31 PM

    I am very proud that the Talisman did an article on sexual misconduct. As the article explained, many people who are victims of sexual misconduct feel silenced. Because of this, our society doesn’t discuss this very important problem. I believe that we need to start talking about sexual misconduct because if we ignore it, it will never be resolved. Not only should we discuss this issue but we should talk about how to prevent it which is exactly what the Talisman did. Recently many women are coming out and accusing men of power of sexual conduct and it’s good that our paper is informing people about the truth. I also enjoy how the writer was upfront and didn’t try to sugar coat the topic. Although I am concerned about the article triggering some people who may have experienced sexual misconduct and some problems may occur because the article did discuss president which is a very controversial topic. Other than that the article was very well written and the topic is important for students to be aware of. I hope that because of journalists like Eileen Macdonald and Anika Anderson, our community will be able to talk about the bad in our world and come together to stop it. My old school didn’t have a newspaper so having something such as the Talisman that’s job is to inform the students at Ballard and being a way for students to express themselves is something students should appreciate. I’m currently taking journalism as one of my electives and it’s really opened my eyes to see how important newspapers and news in general really is.

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Sexual assault is bigger than you think