by Colleen Yates ’18
Over winter break my friends and I attended a New Years Eve Party. At the party I was made very uncomfortable as I felt that a guy was sitting much closer to me than I was comfortable with. The day we returned to school I was surprised to hear multiple complaints among my lunch group that a few of the males at the party had groped them or continuously hit on them in ways that they were not comfortable with. Out of curiosity I decided to ask my lunch group, which is made up of 15 females, to raise their hand if they had ever been sexually harassed or assaulted. Much to my dismay all 15 raised their hands.
I asked my friends to share their stories and most went along the lines of my own. A guy would get close to them, put their arm around them, and then grope them. Throughout the party I made eye contact with many of my friends who mouthed the word “Help” to me as they attempted to get away from an uncomfortable situation. We continuously had to rescue each other by pulling each other away and leaving the room. It is disturbing that so many high school girls have struggled with harassment and/or assault. Consent is very simple. Ask someone if what you plan to do is okay with them, before engaging in an activity. We learned in kindergarten not to touch each others private parts. Times up.