Jess Lishak: Sexual assaults in Manchester are no longer shocking

There have already been 73 incidents this year

Following yet another rape on Oxford Road on Friday, our Women’s Officer has said although the attacks are “upsetting”, they are no longer shocking. 

In response to the astounding number of recent attacks in Manchester, Jess Lishak said we’ve become “used to the news that our friends, peers and community members have been sexually assaulted”.

She opens by saying although the rape of an 18-year-old girl by two men on Oxford Road is obviously “upsetting” and “frightening”, it’s sadly no longer a surprise due to the sheer number of incidents.

Jess went on to reveal there have already been 73 sexual assaults and rapes against 18-24 year olds reported to Greater Manchester Police since January.

Jess said the attacks where no longer shocking

Considering how “it is estimated only 15 per cent of those who experience sexual violence choose to report to the police”, this suggests potentially outrageously high figures.

Where these figures can be overwhelming they should also be motivating, as Jess reminds us “there are things we can be doing, whether that’s on an individual level or on a larger scale”.

The Women’s Officer went on to say telling someone not to walk alone at night adds to the idea rape is something which happens in public and by strangers.

She said: “This awful news is upsetting, it’s frightening, but unfortunately it’s not that shocking to many students who are now used to the news that their friends, peers and community members have been sexually assaulted.

“If we are sexually assaulted, it’s most likely going to be someone we know and trust.”

The overriding message of the post is “everyone should have the right to go about their everyday lives without fear of attack or sexual violence”, and “regardless of where sexual violence might happen and who the perpetrator is, it is never your fault”.

Jess reminded everyone of the Union’s efforts to help students, namely the Safe Taxi Scheme and shuttle bus service.

You can also use StreetCars Taxis if you’re short of cash in exchange for you student card, and then you pay the SU the fare the next day.

The shuttle bus service is due to be up and running within a week, providing a minibus on the hour between 9pm-3am each evening from Ali G.

The buses will take you directly to your door for cheap and all profits will go towards paying a worker at Manchester Rape Crisis to support victims of sexual assault.