Q&A with Lakeidra Grant: Misconceptions Surrounding Sexual Assault

1. @franciscus: He might actually be the #coolest Pope yet. If you’re not already following Pope Francis, let me fill you in. In addition to his Twitter (@Pontifex) the Pope now has an ~iNsTaGrAm~. He posted his first photo on Saturday and has since added three more photos and an Insta-Vid. Now we’re just waiting for the Pope to “do it for the Vine.”

2. DAMN Kourtney Kardashian; BACK AT IT AGAIN with Scott Disick: That’s right. Who would have guessed that the Lord and Kourt would end up back together? Oh, that’s right… everyone. Everyone guessed it, but it’s hard to hate on them too, too much when they post such adorbz picz of the fam on Instagram. Of course, many fans are giving Kourtney grief for spending time with Scott, but I for one am glad the two can put their differences aside and spend time with their kids. Especially when they are spending time in Universal Studios’ Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

3. #StopJustin2K16: Okay, I never want to actually stop JBiebs. I love Justin Bieber to the point that it is probably unhealthy, but he is setting a new standard for “crazy ex-boyfriend.” Bieber posted a throwback photo of Jelena kissing on Saturday afternoon and captioned it “feels.” Although Selena has “supposedly” liked the photo, according to her most recent interview, Jelena will never ever be a thing again. It’s time for Justin to marry me and leave Jelena in 2014 where it belongs.

*”Jelena: A term describing Justin and Selena’s relationship.

4. Snuggles & Kitties: If you hadn’t heard, Gigi Hadid and ex-directioner Zayn Malik are officially official. The big news now is that Gigi posted a photo on Instagram of her, Malik and a cat all snuggled up on. Why is this news? Idk. If you forget that the fact that I’m not a model and I’m single AF, I post pictures of cats all the time, and no one notices. It is a mystery why this picture is so popular.

5. Movie Mishaps: Teen Wolf and Maze Runner star Dylan O’Brien was injured Thursday on the set of Maze Runner: The Death Cure. Though the details on how he was injured are still blurry, fans worldwide are wishing O’Brien a speedy recovery. Fans are also sleeping with their fingers crossed, praying that O’Brien’s face was not injured in the accident.

Akaria Stewart

Photo taken by Dylan Chapman

There are all sorts of differing opinions, definitions and misconceptions when it comes to sexual assault, but I wanted to know why there is all the variance and confusion. In the spirit of gaining more understanding on sexual assault misconceptions, I talked with Lakeidra Grant, the executive director at the Teal House Statesboro Sexual Assault and Child Advocacy Center. In the interview, I gave Grant some common misconceptions about sexual assault that I researched and found to be extremely common. I then asked Grant to speak on these misconceptions and why they were just that: misconceptions.  

Misconception #1: Women who wear revealing clothes are asking to be sexually assaulted:

“We teach our victims and our advocates at the Teal House that wearing provocative clothes does not intensify a sexual assault. They can wear what they want to wear… no means no and that does not give the perpetrator the right to put their hands on them.”

Misconception #2: Men cannot be sexually assaulted:

“At the Teal House, we see victims of male, female, different age range, the whole life span. They [people] think because men are the masculine person, they don’t do any reporting, but they do report. It is harder for them to report because of shame and the backlash of after they report. They do come to the Teal House, and they do receive the same sources as any of our other victims.”

Misconception #3: Sexual assault is just sex:

“Without consent, if anyone touches someone else inappropriately, that is what we consider a sexual assault.” Gantt said that this includes any type of touching or fondling, and “it’s not just the actual sex and penetration.”

Misconception #4: If the victim didn’t fight back then they wanted it to happen:

“A lot of our victims, once they’re assaulted, they’re scared. They are ashamed, and sometimes our victims are in shock when these things happen. Their natural response sometimes is not to fight back… because of the fear of what their perpetrator is going to do or what they may have with them.”  

If you or someone you may know has been a victim of sexual assault, please visit the Teal House website for more information.