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Rape has been a hot topic lately, due in large part to the epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses and the public outcry regarding any number of horrific examples. Young women should not have to carry a mattress on their shoulders to bring attention to this issue. Survivors of sexual assault should not have to fight school administrators to be believed or supported, and they certainly shouldn’t be punished for a crime committed against them. Rape culture pervades our society, and it is acutely felt on college campuses, and it will not change unless we pressure colleges to alter their response to sexual assault. Vote for the politicians who will fight for a future in which women feel safe and supported in a scholastic environment. 

Beyond believing survivors, we also need to provide services that aid in the healing process, which can often include prosecuting perpetrators. Survivors of sexual assault need access to affordable counseling, medical services, and justice. Women should not have to pay for their own rape kit, and they certainly shouldn’t go through the collection process for nothing. Thousands of untested rape kits are currently gathering dust in evidence rooms across the country. Serial rapists should not walk free. Survivors should not be re-victimized. So much of our response to sexual assault needs to change, and that process begins with your voice and your vote.