Editorial: Never again

When we send our children off to college, we expect many things for them. We expect them to receive an academic education. We expect them to learn how to live on their own. We expect them to have their eyes and minds opened to the diversity of ideas and cultures a college experience generally offers.

We don’t expect our girls to be raped. And we don’t expect our boys to be the aggressors.

But the incidence of college campus violence against women has come home to Wilton. This past fall, the Wilton Domestic Violence Task Force was made aware of a former Wilton High School student at a prestigious college who was raped. Maybe this wasn’t the first time this has happened to a college student. We can only hope it will be the last time.

The incident spurred the task force to present a program next Wednesday, Feb. 15, in the hope that young people can become educated and protect themselves. A portion of the documentary The Hunting Ground will be shown, and there will be a panel discussion among those involved in the trenches of rape and other incidents of sexual abuse. The program begins at 7 p.m. in the Brubeck Room at Wilton Library.

It is called, appropriately, Don’t Be Prey, Be Empowered.

Education means opening your eyes to the problem. Sexual assault is an issue that affects us all. Sometimes rape can be prevented, and it is programs like the one on Wednesday that help us learn how to do that.

Some of the things we and our children need to know:

  • Non-consensual sex is sexual assault.

  • The inability to say no means the inability to say yes.

  • Past consent does not imply future consent.

  • We must not be afraid to intervene when consent has not been given.

To prevent rape, we must educate ourselves and our children. We must engage everyone to be part of the solution.

The Domestic Violence Task Force is making an effort to help us. Let’s make an effort to help ourselves and our children by supporting this important event.