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To the Editor:
You’re out, and you think you saw something.  You’re not sure; maybe it was nothing.  So, you do nothing and just keep walking.  The next day, you hear in the news.  Someone needed your help, but you didn’t know what to do.

It’s time … to get involved.  You, as an engaged bystander, have the opportunity to act and safely change the outcome – to prevent an assault by stepping in when you see something that doesn’t look right.  Maybe you heard someone say something sexist or degrading.  Maybe you witnessed someone trying to take advantage of a friend.  Studies have shown that the occurrence of rape is far more extensive than reported in official statistics, and the large majority of rapists are never apprehended.

But there’s more.  You can start by helping to promote Sexual Assault Awareness, so that everyone has their eyes wide open.  How can you do this?  Get involved in awareness events, such as Walk A Mile in Her Shoes; the Men’s March for Sexual Assault Awareness (April 16); support the local organizations, such as COMPASS, that are in the schools educating on these issues and in the community advocating for victims; be aware and get involved.

You aren’t ruining someone’s fun or being a jerk if you speak up.  You are watching out for someone’s brother, sister, child, neighbor or friend.  Next time, it could be your loved one that needs help.

It’s time…to get involved and do what is right.

Molly MacMath
Director, COMPASS, Inc.
New Philadelphia, OH


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