“Unfortunately, people around us, even those closest to us like our family, dating partners and friends, sometimes use their agency to act in ways that injure us,” Professor Benjamin M. Ogles said. “To those who have had traumatic experiences, please know there are people, many people, who are concerned for your welfare, and many people who have experienced on a personal level what you have experienced. You are not alone."
To those who are victims of sexual assault, “there is hope.”
That was the message of Benjamin M. Ogles, professor at Brigham Young University, during a campus devotional on Jan. 30.
Addressing the perpetrators, victims and loved ones of those who have experienced sexual assault, Ogles explained the importance of agency, accountability and the Atonement of Jesus Christ as it relates to the sensitive topic.
“Only by uniting our voices and actions to assist victims and promote respect for others can we help to end sexual violence,” he said.
Recognizing that in 2017, many stories were published regarding sexual harassment and assault, Ogles spoke of the increasing exposure of the issue. While headlines included the names of celebrities, politicians and corporate executives among accused perpetrators, many people joined in social media campaigns — such as the #MeToo campaign — to have a voice in the increasing, and sometimes controversial, issue.
Students listened as Ogles, who serves on the Advisory Council on Campus Response to Sexual Assault at BYU and is the dean of the College of Family, Home and Social Sciences, explained how he has seen first hand while at BYU the weightiness of the issue of sexual assault.