Warning: the content of this story contains topics of rape and sexual assault
The app TikTok has been known to start many trends within the past few years. Some trends have been good, others, not so much. In recent years, many women on the app have shared their stories of Sexual Abuse and Assault that goes along with the #metoo movement that was started back in 2017. According to a 2018 survey from National Crime Victimization, 1 out of every 6 American Women has been a victim of rape and/or sexual assault. The studies have also shown that most of these women that have been assaulted were between the ages of 18-34.
In response to women speaking out about their experiences with rape and sexual assault, men on the app started a trend declaring April 24 as “National Rape Day.” Male users who have made videos about the so-called national day are using it as a day to “legally” carry out crimes of sexual assault and rape.
Many female users on the app warned their fellow female users/followers to take extra precautions when going out at night on this day in case there are men who take this day seriously.
April 24 is Prom Night for West High Juniors and Seniors. Melanie Hansel, a concerned teacher and parent of a student at West High was informed about the trend by her daughter.
“Prom is when bad things usually happen anyway because people think ‘hey it’s Prom night’ or whatever and so this added thing to it, I was more concerned for the safety of our students.” Hansel said. “Because a lot of them dress all pretty and get all dressed up fancy and we don’t want anybody to mistake that for anything.”
Hansel has stated that she has had conversations with her students in class about the trend as well.
“A lot of them are aware of it, and it’s interesting how they all reacted differently.” She says. “Like, some are scared”
She also says that there are students that take extra precautions to protect themselves from attackers.
“The biggest thing that we talked about was this is a form of bullying and the whole reason that people do it is they feel like they have power” Hansel says “I just wanted our students to be aware of it just so that they can make sure that they’re prepared.”
Hansel also says that everyone should be aware of their surroundings at all times and makes sure that you don’t get yourself in a situation where someone could try to harm you.
“If you are out and about and you have a drink, don’t leave it unattended or you know, open where someone could try to slip you something to try to take advantage of you.” She says
“It probably starts with us teaching our students to have that confidence in themselves so that people don’t perceive them as a victim”
If you or someone you know has been raped and/or sexually assaulted, please call this hotline:
Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center (WASAC)- (316) 263-3002