Editor’s note: We need change

I talked to a woman who was attacked. She was pushed by two men who tried to rip her shirt off and assault her. She was brave, kicking one in the shin before running away as fast as she could.

She didn’t realize how absurd it was until much after, reliving the day in her head.

And she, a close, dear friend of mine, also has to live every day with the fear of it happening again, triggered by all of the things that could have happened to her.

But she’s not the only one.

We have received four Bag O’ Crime submissions and a fifth incident summary by the Waterloo Regional Police about sexual assaults in the area around the universities. This is a common occurrence, and we would not be doing our due diligence if we didn’t look into it.

That’s why this week’s main story looks into the prevalence of sexual assault and what is happening in the Waterloo Region.

It’s hard to read. It’s hard to report.

It’s hard to believe this is something we have to deal with on a regular basis despite the services, task forces and efforts put in by those around us.

But unfortunately, it’s still an issue.

Change beyond just awareness needs to happen. The culture of universities that makes rape on and around campus so common that it’s not talked about needs to change. It’s concerning to read weekly submissions indicating that students aren’t safe, or sit here reporting on why this is happening.

I’m not blaming anyone for these occurrences. Sexual assault goes beyond blame and is part of a larger social issue.

I’m simply saying that all parties need to express the drastic need for change.

This shouldn’t be something people read in the paper. This shouldn’t be something they’re getting notifications about.

And it certainly shouldn’t be the defining moment of their university career.

Sexual assault is not part of the university experience.

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