Friday, October 24, 2014

Some thoughts

Something has been really bothering me lately….And today, I could have cried about it.

I am talking about the disappearance of UVA freshman, Hannah Graham. Upon hearing the news today that the remains found earlier in the week did in fact belong to her, I am disgusted. To think that someone could actually commit such a crime puts me in a state of disbelief, but I wanted to take this opportunity to share my thoughts.

When I first heard about the story, there was hope. Maybe, just maybe, this innocent girl who like many of us, just wanted to have a bit of fun, was actually safe. Maybe she was okay. But like many disappearance cases, as time went on, my hope dwindled. It was to the point where I was talking about it with my mom, and I actually said the words "There is no way she is still alive. It's devastating." Unfortunately, I was right. And I could go on and on about how angry it makes me, but why do that when we can learn something, and reiterate a point that has been made so many times before.

1) DO NOT walk home alone.

Girls. Guys. Everyone is at risk. College is a time to enjoy yourself, and in many cases, this enjoyment happens off campus. Please, do not walk home alone. If you get separated, are alone etc., call a taxi. If you feel at all uncomfortable, call public safety and/or the police. Especially at night, no matter where you are, people are not who they say. Trust yourself.

My best friend and I were talking about it the other day, and we made a pact. NEVER let the other one leave without someone. In fact, never leave anywhere unless you know where your entire party is.

There was a sad story at my school a few years back. A girl was with a group of people, who had split up into two during the night, each half thinking the poor girl was with the other half. She was alone, drunk, and passed out in the snow. Although she was not abducted or attacked, the temperatures in Ithaca are frigid, and unfortunately she did not survive the night because of it. Just goes to show--Know who is around you at all times.

2) DO NOT 'slut shame.'

I get it. You want to look "hot" for that guy or girl in your 10 am class, and you know they will be at that rager party tonight. Rightfully so. I try my best to appear attractive when I go out. It's human nature, and I won't deny that I haven't worn tight dresses and heels in my day. However, when you see that girl in a short skirt and crop top or when you see that guy looking sharp, that by no means is an invitation to his/her body. It is not yours or anybody else's except that person. He/she is not 'asking for it,' and while I agree that some outfits are a bit too risqué, that is not up for your discretion. Don't let it affect you having a good time, and do not label anyone a 'slut' or 'man whore' when you most likely do not know them to begin with. The victim is NEVER at fault.

Hannah was wearing something close to what most girls would wear--a crop top. And to hear some of the commentary coming from people saying she was at fault is beyond me. I'm sorry, but do you think a college freshman asked for that to happen to her? Do you really think she chose her outfit with the intention to be attacked? Really think about that, because I guarantee the answer is clear.

3) Oldest tip in the book--DO NOT trust strangers or anyone you don't feel "right" about.

Self explanatory. You don't know them, so you don't know what they will do.

I hope the Graham family has found some closure, and that they get the justice they deserved. Unfortunately, we live in a world where these things happen, and unfortunately, these are the things we have to think about in order to protect ourselves. Stay safe.

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