By Cady Jackson and Amy Lopez

9th grade

As two girls who live in a small town and attend Gordon Central High School, we have both seen and heard many different stories that include students who have no respect for others. Growing up we were taught to be cautious about what we wore, how we acted, and how to protect ourselves. Is that really how it should be?

At first, we didn’t understand, and we thought it was just our parents giving us a hard time, but as we grew older our vision to what they were talking about became clearer. Every day there’s a chance that a woman, or even a man, might be harmed in the form of sexual assault. As humans, not one of us should have to worry about that.

“They shouldn’t have been wearing that.”

In many videos of victims telling their stories, they have spoken about how their attackers, or rapist, have said, “They shouldn’t have been wearing that.”  What do clothes have to do with being raped? Why should your lack of control determine what we wear?

After researching a bit more, we came to the conclusion that it doesn’t actually matter what the victim was wearing. Baggy clothes, and even tight clothes, shouldn’t be the cause of the dumb decisions you make.

In the picture displayed above are outfits that victims wore when their attackers made their move. As you can see, the outfits range in different styles. Some show more skin while the others show close to none. So why make the excuse that someone shouldn’t have been wearing the clothes that they chose? Why can’t you learn to control yourself and have respect for others?

More in depth

If you’re reading this, then you’re most likely wondering where our proof, or evidence to our claims are, but this is where you don’t have to wonder anymore. We have used the resources surrounding us and our attention has been drawn to certain information.

On the NSVRC website (National Sexual Violence Resource Center, it concludes that 83% of women and 43% of men have experienced some form of sexual assault / violence in their lifetime.  In addition, 1in 3 women, and 1 in 4 men have had to deal with these issues between the ages of 11 and 17. Why did they have to go through that though?

There’s no excuse for harming someone in a form of sexual assault. Yeah, “boys will be boys” and “girls will be girls”, but we can do that safely, without leaving someone with a scarring memory that they’re most likely going to be reminded of over and over again. So, from now on, we believe that girls and boys should be allowed to wear what they choose, even if it’s deemed “distracting.”  Students should be taught to have respect for others and to have self control. Schools like ours shouldn’t have students worrying whether they’re going to be harmed in some way.  We should all be able to feel like we are in a safe zone. We should also be able to express ourselves freely. High school is supposed to be taken seriously but why not let us wear what we feel comfortable in? In closing, students should be taught self control and to have respect for others.

To learn more information about sexual assault got to, or if you’re needing to talk to someone call 800-656-HOPE (4673).