Sexual Assault Awareness Week ends today. A week of events sponsored by Resources for Sexual Violence Prevention (RSVP) have now concluded, but the problem of sexual assault is far from over. Sexual violence infects our entire society, and unlike many social ills, our academic bubble does not protect us from this tragedy. At colleges across the country, sexual violence is a pernicious fact of campus life. The University of Chicago is no exception.
One of the central obstacles to meaningful discussion and action against sexual violence is that, like other sensitive subjects, the topic is often deliberately avoided and ignored. Yet, it is precisely this silence that must be broken. Sexual violence can only be fought in the open. Whether organized by groups like RSVP or continued informally by other students, any attempt that seeks to draw this issue out from the margins of campus conversation should be applauded.
Sexual Assault Awareness Week was not planned with the intention of creating a seven-day dialogue about this vital issue. Rather, Sexual Assault Awareness Week must spark an unending discussion about sexual violence in our society and on our campus. It is our responsibility as students that we continue to break the silence.