Maya Angelou's Letter To Women

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An Open Letter to Women

In Maya Angelou’s Even the Stars Look Lonesome, she writes, “The ax forgets what the tree remembers”. Such a powerful and true statement directly relates to my topic today. Sexual assault is a provocative and uncomfortable topic. Not only does it silence its victims, but those who are not victims turn silent as well. Nevertheless, we can no longer be silent.
Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Sexual assault continues because we do not believe it could ever happen to us. Statistically, 1 in 6 women have experienced attempted or a completed rape. 80% of girls and women raped were victimized by someone they knew - this is known as Acquaintance Rape.
In 2012, Saratoga High School sophomore, Audrie Pott passed out after drinking at a party. Three boys, two with whom she attended high school with, took off her clothes and sexually assaulted her. Ten days later, she hanged
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Activists have come to a strong conclusion that sexual education must be introduced to students before they become sexually involved. Today’s sex education needs to cover more than teenage pregnancies and diseases. It must include open discussions on what consent and sexual violence is. Learning how to ask for, give, and hear consent are skills that need to be taught, learned, and applied. However, this will not fully eliminate the issue. It is not enough to punish the perpetrators of rape and sexual assault. Moreover, it is not enough to include the discussion of consent in sex-education classes. The answer lies in education and early intervention. My goal today standing in front of you is not to shame you. My goal is to spread awareness of sexual violence that girls of all ages face. I didn’t make up the statistic 1 out of 6. And maybe you didn’t know it until today. But that you do, it exists and it can no longer be
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