The topic I will be discussing is sexual assault of minors in Chicago. Sexual assault is an act in which one intentionally sexually touches another person without that person’s consent or physically forces a person to engage in a sexual act against their will. Sexual assault is a problem that occurs in every country, town, and village in the world. Each year, thousands of men and women take an oath to serve and protect their country and each year thousands of military service members are sexually assaulted. Most people don’t speak up when they have been sexually assaulted because of the fear of being judged or not being believed. Being a victim of sexual assault can leave victims feeling ashamed like they are not enough or less-than a person.

The reason I picked this topic is because I know a few people that have been sexually assaulted, so it is really an important topic for me. It feels personal because I know people that been through this before.

I interviewed a young teen that was sexually assaulted at the age of 10. The act happened at a family get together. It was her and two other boys that were family friends that she really trusted and never thought they would touch her in an inappropriate way. The two boys touched her thighs, and at first she thought nothing of it, so she just moved away. Then they touched close to her private parts, so she told them to stop. They didn’t stop and she threatened to yell if they didn’t. She screamed very loud, someone came into the room, and she told them what happened. They didn’t believe her. After that, because one person didn’t believe her, she didn’t care to tell anyone else because she thought nobody would believe her.

The second interview is about another young teen that was sexually assaulted at the age of 14. She told one person what happened to her but they didn’t believe her. Then it happened to another girl her age and the adult she told finally believed it. The man is currently in jail.

I know people think that the Equal Rights Amendment might not have anything to do with sexually assault, but the ERA would ensure that all people who face discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual violence, workplace harassment, pregnancy discrimination, and unequal pay are finally given full and equal standing under the law. The ERA is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex.

The Equal Rights Amendment would provide a fundamental legal remedy against sex discrimination by guaranteeing that constitutional rights may not be denied or abridged on account of sex. A lot of people, especially females, think they don’t have the same rights because they are a female, but everyone should be treated equally and people should stand up for ourselves.

This project was made in collaboration with GlobalGirl Media-Chicago, The ERA Coalition, and The Fund for Women’s Equality. You can learn more about this collaboration here.

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Twitter: @4womensequality and @eracoalition

Instagram: @fundforwomensequality and @eracoalition




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