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15 Nov 2017 06:38 PM EST

-by Chanel Adams, Staff Writer; Image: Logo for the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), founded in 1994 by Scott Berkowitz (Image Source: Public Domain)

Sexual assault isn't just an entertainment problem. It's an everyday problem that women deal with, from the workplace to social media.

We must learn how to combat all forms of sexual assault, no matter what kind it is.

#MeToo is a social media campaign that has raised awareness of sexual assault and sexual harassment amid the reports and revelations about Harvey Weinstein. The Hollywood producer has been accused of sexually assaulting and harassing dozens of women. Many of those reports come from young women who were at the beginning of their careers but were afraid to speak out.

The social media campaign has received over 60,000 responses. Most of the people shared their own experiences dealing with sexual harassment and assault. Meanwhile, more than 22,000 people had retweeted the post.

This isn't just a Hollywood problem. Sexual assault takes place in workplace settings, college campuses, nightclubs, and more. The scary thought is that there are many men who don't see women as people but as sexual objects.

And it's more than just sexual assault that happens. Sexual assault can take on many forms of sexual harassment to online bullying. The most common types of sexual assault include the following:

  • Rape
  • Forcible sodomy
  • Forcible object penetration
  • Marital rape
  • Unwanted sexual touching
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Incest
  • Date or acquaintance rape
  • Any other unwanted or coerced sexual contact

Other types of sexual crime or abuse include the following:

  • Sexual harassment
  • Possession of child pornography
  • Solicitation of minors via the Internet or sex trafficking
  • Revenge pornography
  • Molestation
  • Exhibitionism or exposure
  • Voyeurism
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Sexism
  • Obscene phone calls, text messages, emails, or social media messages
  • Verbal or physical attacks on one's sexual orientation
  • Sexual violence or sadistic sexual abuse

It's important that everyone is familiar with all forms of sexual assault. It's inescapable, especially on social media. Men claim they don't know sexual predators or rapists, while women know someone they know who's been sexually assaulted. Men need to do better when it comes to preventing sexual assault and harassment. They need to familiarize themselves with the terms and different forms.

If you see something, do something about it. Speak out about it. Take an intervention course or start an anonymous tip line where people can warn others about sexual abusers in their community. Teach your sons how to treat women like human beings who deserve respect. Confront those you know who convey these predatory behaviors and lead them to resources that can help them change their ways.

We cannot just remove sexual assault from the entertainment industry. We have to work on dismantling patriarchy and toxic masculinity in society. We also need to speak out against the rampant misogyny and sexism that takes place to this day.

Consent to any sexual activity is important for both parties. It's not just about saying "yes" or "no," but it's about understanding how your partner is feeling. Ask for consent before you act. Ask open-ended questions, notice your partner's body language, and respect your partner's response, whether it's "yes" or "no." If he or she is unsure, then it's likely they don't want to act on it.

Consent is a voluntary honest and mutual verbal agreement. It cannot be coerced or forced. Consent is a process that should be used every step of the way, even if your partner has said yes. Consent is never implied, even in a relationship. Just because you are dating someone does not mean you have their permission to have sex with them. A person who is intoxicated cannot give proper consent. Both people must be coherent to make that decision.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, know there are many resources for survivors such as the following:

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673

National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline: 1-866-331-9474 or 1-866-331-8453

National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-422-4453

RAINN: 1-800-656-4673

Safe Horizon Rape and Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-621–4673

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