New National SASH Club Program Empowers Youth to Confront Sexual Harassment and Assault

By Nicole Mitchell

When I was in high school, I was sexually harassed. This boy, a year older than me, would follow me around school daily, which made me uncomfortable. One time I even remember him pretending to drop something so he could look up my skirt. Actually, I wasn’t the only person he did that to. There were plenty of other young high school girls going through the same thing because of this person. At the time, there was nothing I could do about it. I was confused and had nowhere to go.

This has to change, and thankfully, there are programs being put in place that will help young people understand what sexual harassment really is and take a stand against it today. Stop Sexual Assault in Schools has created and launched its new initiative SASH Club to empower youth ages 13+ to take action against sexual harassment and assault.

SASH Club provides a set of free online, ready-to-use tools on their website for teens of all genders, races, ethnicities, and orientations to start the discussion and educate themselves and others about sexual harassment and assault, support survivors, and make real change in their schools and communities.

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“Girls” and the Reality of Sexual Assault

By Kayla McCombs

I recently started watching the HBO series “Girls.” The decision to watch it stemmed from an odd mixture of my crush on Adam Driver and my irrepressible desire to have an opinion on everything and everyone, including the series’ creator Lena Dunham. As a person who cares deeply about social justice issues, I had “Girls” in the back of my mind for a while due to a lot of controversy over its lack of racial diversity and abrasively middle-class characters. That was my motivation to watch the show—I wanted to argue about it.

Photo by Rene Böhmer

While the aforementioned issues are undeniably important, I won’t be touching on them in this post. Instead, I want to delve into the topics of sexual assault and relationship abuse, two very real problems that are to this day clouded with controversy and misunderstanding. Sexual assault and abuse are often portrayed as being straightforward and easy to identify in film and television. While they both have distinct definitions—and it would be great if the world could be on the same page as to what constitutes either of them—the reality is that most cases come across as ambiguous and confusing. This, naturally, is a major source of pain for many victims who feel unsupported or discouraged from speaking out or asking for help.

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