Less than three months ago, I graduated from my university in Los Angeles, California. College is designed to be a safe space, dedicating to learning about the world. In theory, this is how College should be, but this is not what I found.
You see it on the news every now and again: “Sexual assault scandal on college campus”, but you never think it would happen so close to home. The truth was almost every semester a new story of an assault would arise on my own campus. These even happened at the parties and events that I attended. In some cases, the assaulter would have no punishment and run free in the same space as the one they attacked, forcing the victim to leave instead of the accuser. Tragic events like these made some women feel so unsafe that they would stay inside all night instead of hanging out with their friends. This is the exact opposite of how you should feel in college, some of the most important years of your lives.
There are many groups on campus that fight against sexual assault, some I actually got to participate in. However, after leaving University I felt as if everything was going to remain the same and women were going to continue to feel unsafe, but a sense of hope came back to me once I met Kwema. Kwema relies on the fact that people want to help one another. If I knew that someone two-blocks away needed help, even though I’m not an official first-responder, I would still go to see if they’re okay, and so would you. That is the power of Kwema: crowdsourcing the world we want to live in.
I have never felt the insecurities women face everyday; walking home alone at night, taking public transportation, or even going out to a party. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t help fight against these atrocities. No matter who you are, or where you come from, you can still make a difference. We can’t do this alone. My name is Reid Douglas and I invite you to join our community and help others in need.