The Student News Site of Clemson University

The Tiger

The Tiger

The Tiger

When we say “no more,” we mean it, editorial

How many women do you know on campus? 
How many women do you pass on Library Bridge, do you sit in classes with, do you text, do you see every day at Clemson? 
The statistics are clear: one in five of those women will be sexually assaulted before their time at Clemson University is over. Take that number, file it away. 
How many men do you know?
One in sixteen of them will be sexually assaulted before they finish college.
Take that number, file it away.
How many people do you see in a lifetime? How many of those people have ever been in a relationship? 
One in three women and one in four men will experience violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
Take that number, file it away.
Twenty-four people, every minute, are victims of domestic violence. Eighty percent of sexual assault victims know their abuser. Fifty percent of LGBTQ+ women will experience sexual violence in their lifetime. There is a one in 12 chance a black transgender woman will be murdered.
Take all these numbers, hold them in your hands.
There is no way around the truth: we live in the belly of rape culture, where sexual and intimate partner violence has existed behind a curtain, just below the surface for far too long. As we struggle to break the silence on the issue, it is imperative that we participate and learn during awareness months, campus events and social media campaigns. But it cannot stop there.
When we say “No More,” we mean that we must work to create a culture where no amount of sexual or partner violence is acceptable. Where no rape is explained away, where no rapist is not held accountable, where no victim is blamed for their assault. When we say “No More,” we mean that this movement does not end with a button or PSA, but must become a central part of our lives. We’re saying that it’s our job as human beings to step in and to stop entertaining the excuses and victim blaming.  We’re saying that in order to change anything about these numbers, the ones currently spilling over the top of this page, the ones you’ve filed away, the ones you’re struggling to hold in your hands, we have to put action behind our words. 
And when we say “No More,” we mean that there is no excuse for condoning sexual assault.
There is no apologizing. 
There is no explaining it away. 
There is no shifting the topic.
There is never an excuse for sexual assault, and providing people a pass or trying to justify their actions is implicitly condoning the assault they perpetrated.  It communicates to victims that their lives and their agency are worthless, it says to assaulters that their actions are okay, and it perpetuates a system of rape culture that damns one in five college women and one in sixteen college men to assault. 
If we are to change anything about these statistics, we can no longer pretend that justifying sexual assaulters and justifying sexual assault are not one in the same. We can no longer allow casual justifications of sexual assault to exist within our language, or our own hearts. 
The truth is this: no one ever deserves to be sexually assaulted. No one was asking for it. No one wanted it. No one. Not someone wearing a short skirt, not someone who was drunk, not someone who winked at you, not someone who you know, not someone who you’ve never seen before. No one. And when we say “No More,” when we gather for this month of awareness and share buttons and ribbons and go to candid and educational events, when we watch PSAs or use a hashtag, we mean No More. Ever.
Otherwise, the numbers you’ve collected, filed away, or held in your hands are just numbers. 
So take a stand, refuse to back down, refuse to let any person become a statistic and mean it when you say “No More.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Tiger

Your donation will support the student journalists of Clemson University . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Tiger

Comments (0)

All The Tiger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *