Sexual and Relationship Violence Support Services showcased “UnSlut,” a documentary focused on the effects sexual harassment and bullying can have on victims, along with a follow-up discussion Wednesday.
The “UnSlut” documentary showcased stories of young girls who have been terrorized by fellow students on the internet.
“People should not make you feel victimized by sexual harassing and slut shaming you as part of the middle and high school experience,” said Megan Lee, a graduate assistant at SRVSS. “I really hope this project is pushed in schools because this is where a lot of this is happening. It needs to be exposed.”
The documentary focused on a range of issues, including consent.
“It’s necessary to teach people what consent is at an age before they need that information,” said Devon Sherepita, a junior public relations major. “Parents need to address slut shaming because many don’t take it seriously.”
According to the UnSlut Project, girls who experience slut shaming are at a heightened risk for depression or self-harming behaviors, which can lead some people to take their own lives.
During the discussion, attendees brought up real-life situations regarding treatment of women and sexual assault.
“Women’s sexuality is fluid and suppressed,” said Carolyn Good, a graduate health education student.
“It’s shocking to see how quickly cases of rape or assault are closed,” Sherepita said. “Victims aren’t always taken seriously.”
Women aren’t the only victims of sexual assault. According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, one out of every 10 rape victims are male.
“If a man is sexually assaulted, he’s told to ‘man up,’” Good said.
“UnSlut” highlighted the issues behind sexual harassment and how it could lead to bullying across different platforms, specifically in school.
“I remember in my junior year of high school, a girl had to completely switched schools because a picture went around,” Lee said.
“We talk about the health side of sex in school programs,” Sherepita said. “The social side isn’t talked about.”
Hannah Sheridan is the women’s and LGBTQ issues reporter. Contact her at [email protected]