Sexual Assault Closer Than You Think

Sommer's Smith, Staff Writer

No one should ever see their childhood heroes or role models let them down.

Unfortunately, that was the case for America’s favorite television father, comedian, actor and author, Bill Cosby. In 2014, sexual assault allegations began to flood in at his feet, and over the course of an original trial verdict of not guilty, and 60 women later, the second time was the charm.

The three-year battle between truth, lies and justice came to an end on Tuesday, Sept. 25, when Cosby, 81, was sentenced three to 10 years in prison on three counts of aggravated indecent assault. According to the Department of Corrections website, Cosby will be serving his prison time at the SCI Phoenix prison in Collegeville, Pennsylvania where he will be housed in a single cell unit adjacent to the infirmary.

As a new prisoner, Cosby will be monitored by prison medical staff, and others, while being allowed  phone calls, visits and exercise. The press secretary for corrections, Amy Worden told Fox News that Cosby would be “able to purchase his own television, radio and tablet so that he will be able to receive email, music and books.”

“These are possessions that inmates are allowed to have,” said Worden.

Although the women who accused Cosby are rejoicing in their victory of justice, many women all over the world have yet to have their voices heard. The #MeToo movement has given women the platform, and virtual microphone to voice their stories of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct.

Sexual assault is an epidemic that has plagued victims for decades. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), “On average, there are 321,500 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States.” The highest risk of people targeted for this crime are young people. “Younger people, ages 12-34 are the highest risk years for rape and sexual assault.”

As young adults, about to enter the world, it is important that college students use this spotlight to protect themselves from unfair treatment, or harassment of any kind. As  the new leaders of society, it’s important for us to develop a perspective that sets us apart from what the media is selling.

Developing movements like #MeToo, are one of the most influential and effective approaches to making change. Social media is still growing to be the strongest tool for blowing the whistle on truth, lies,  and even justice.