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Sexual assault awareness movements such as the #MeToo movement have proven very successful for women struggling to cope with their harassment pasts.

Movements like these have allowed women to gain their confidence back and to speak their minds about the dark occurrences that have unfortunately happened to them.

The movement even spread to big celebrity events such as the “black dress” statement at the Golden Globes earlier this year.

However, many of these movements seem one-sided in the worst possible way.

Testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee, actor Terry Crews came forward with his sexual assault story by a Hollywood agent.

Crews’ testimony was regarding the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights which gives survivors the right to distance themselves from trauma before making the choice to report to law enforcement.

Quickly following his testimony, people were quick to mock Crews on twitter for his story, stating that there were plenty of alternatives Crews could have used to avoid the situation.

Others denounced his masculinity and laughed that Crews would let another person assault him when he could have punched them with his huge muscles.

Questions like, “Why didn’t you say something?” “Why didn’t you tell the police?” and “Why didn’t you beat him up?” were frequently flowing through Crews’ twitter feed.

All questions were answered with two words, “I did,” and yet, nobody seemed to grasp the concept that this happens to men too.

When situations like this occur, there are fight and flight responses but there are also responses where the victim completely shuts down and is unable to remove themselves from the situation. This is normal — for women and men.

There will always be people out there to hurt you and in this case, Crews was the one to be hurt through assault. Coming forward was also an attempt to destroy a stigma that men can’t be sexually harassed or abused.

Men should feel comfortable to come forward with their stories without being denounced of their masculinity and toughness.

There shouldn’t be any questioning of what they did and didn’t do to avoid the situation.

The incident should be taken at face value and the next steps should be comforting and helping the victims, not questioning the event.

Gentlemen, Crews is fighting for your right to speak out. He’s showing that this happens to men too and it doesn’t rid you of your masculinity or your toughness and it certainly doesn’t take away your right to be a man.

Think before denouncing. You could have a friend wanting to come forward and your closemindedness is not allowing it to happen.

Assault isn’t a back-alley stereotype of female victims assaulted by male assailants. It’s men on women, women on women, women on men and men on men.

Together we are stronger and realizing that will help bring justice and representation to male victims. Don’t mock them, help them.

EDITORIAL POLICY Editorial written by BECKY FLETCHER, a member of The Vidette’s Editorial Board. Editorial policy is determined by the student editor, and views expressed in editorials are those of the majority of The Vidette’s Editorial Board. Columns that carry bylines are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Vidette or the University.

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