Sexual assault is one of the most frequently occurring crimes across the world, but somehow it's still not discussed in the mainstream film and TV.
Whether it's the entertainment sector or even news portals, somehow the said topic is too 'embarrassing' to be discussed unabashedly.
But Sex Education on Netflix is one series that made sure to spread awareness about this subject and its distressing universality.
While the series takes a lighter approach to talk about sexual problems, in season two the writers made sure that a woman's plight of being harassed publicly should be noticed by the audience.
Now, if you're a woman, sexual assault is something you would've been well aware of and Aimee Lou Woods (Aimee Gibbs) portrayed the harsh reality of it in one of the episodes.
The scene shows her standing in a bus with a cake in her hand for her friend Maeve (Emma Mackey). She notices a stranger moving behind her only to find out that he was masturbating on her leg.
Aimee calls for help, but no one helps her out. Disappointed, she gets out of the bus and finds a semen stain on her favorite jeans.
What happens next is what every person whose ever been assaulted will relate to. Aimee went to school and acted as if nothing happened. She pretended like someone masturbating on her publicly wasn't a big deal.
In fact, she compared it with a sneeze and called it a mistake.
Why? Because somehow us women have gotten used to the fact that an act as traumatic as a sexual assault is normal just because we have to go through it all the time.
But following an interaction with Maeve, Aimee finally goes to the police to report it and had to go through the incident all over again.
An incident that she thought was not a big deal started affecting her in ways she didn't see coming. In the next few episodes, the assault started triggering her.
She started fearing to get on the same bus she used to take to go to school regularly. She even broke up with her boyfriend just because a minor act of him touching her got too much.
Honestly, the way this entire episode was depicted was too close to reality.
Us women go on with our lives with a constant possibility of a threat and danger. We plan our lives every day thinking about what we should wear and how should we behave so that nobody 'notices' us.
As for what happened to Aimee in the series is something that every woman has gone through in their lives.
Being touched in public, seeing some stranger masturbate from afar while they stare at you or even getting groped. All of this happens so often that now the society believes that these acts are normal.
Hell! Even the victims who face these instances believe that it is normal and they don't think about it, they'll just learn to live with it.
Honestly, the victim can be anyone. Be it a 6-year-old to a 60-year-old and they all go on thinking that if they keep quiet about it, it will all go away.
But, what goes away is a part of you the minute an instance like this happens. Like Aimee, you live in a fear of stepping on that bus or going on that street or even taking a cab for that matter.
It feels like somebody snatched your most prized possession. Like someone took your soul away from your body. Like you're standing naked in the middle of a crowded street.
So, why as women do we feel the need to shush about such a tragic incident in our lives? Something that subconsciously changes us and our personalities forever?
Just because society asks us to? But what does the society know about what we are going through and how a 'minor' incident completely changed our lives, right?
While I am really glad that a show like Sex Education showcased a heinous act like sexual assault to the entire world and educated people about it, it saddens me that people still choose to ignore consent.
An act as 'trivial' as someone masturbating while staring at you can scar a person. Not only should one talk about it to their peers, but definitely should report it so that the person who committed this crime never gets away with it.
But, if for some reason you think that reporting it is not an option, at least be aware of it. At least know that whatever has happened is extremely grave and never think that it's your fault.
Understanding the gravity of a sexual assault and the need to talk about it is one the most important things to move forward. By showing the kind of support Aimee received by her friends in Sex Education, it showed everyone how important it is to speak about your traumas.