The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday January 25th

Letter: ​It’s on men to learn about consent


One in five. Those are the odds of a young woman being sexually assaulted during her four years in college. Less than 10 percent of these assaults are reported. Less than 1 percent of these reports lead to conviction. Yet we wonder why women don’t report their assault; reliving the experience painstakingly, only to not see justice.

There are no “partisan” sides on this matter; there is simply right and wrong. It is wrong to say that there is not a problem. What’s even more inexcusable is to blame the victim in ANY way for what has been done to them. Telling women not to dress a certain way, or drink or go out alone is not going to fix this issue.

What is going to solve this atrocity is educating men that “no means no.” Educating men that inability to give consent is never consent. Educating men that clothing is not consent; alcohol is not consent; relationship status is not consent. Consent is a clear and conscious “yes.” Educating men that without that consent; that uninfluenced, unforced, unimpaired “yes”: proceeding is a crime.

It’s time to end blaming the victim. It’s time to end “boys will be boys.” It’s time to fight until that one in five becomes zero. And, men, Joe Biden is right: It’s on us.

Cole Barnhill


Public Policy and Political Science

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