Shifting cultures and ideals is the only way to create systemic change, especially when it comes to something as complicated as rape and sexual assault culture. Understanding signs of rape culture is the first step to being aware and discontinuing such harmful actions. Rape culture, whose prevailing social attitudes have the effect of normalizing or trivializing sexual assault and abuse, is the most alarming danger to some students on college campuses.

There was one instance of dating violence, seven instances of stalking and eight reported sexual offenses at UCCS in 2018, according to the annual Clery report. The statistics supporting the existence of rape culture are disheartening.

According to an article by The State Press, despite the staggering statistics, sexual violence is normalized. People like to write it off as a crime of passion or a drunken mistake, which is not acceptable.

Rape is not about stupid decisions or frenzied desire. Rape is about power, control and dominance. Denying and normalizing this simply reinforces rape culture.Rape culture is a larger issue that stems from concerning trends, traditions and beliefs that still exist. However, students need to take it into their own hands to recognize and resist, report, discourage and most importantly: end rape culture for good.

If we can begin to recognize signs and learn to combat it, perhaps some horrific acts of rape and sexual assault will be prevented