A few Twitter accounts mocking the
After 15 women at BYU reported being sexually assaulted by who is being called the BYU groper, an account mocking the crime was created on Twitter using the handle @BYUgroper.

For the past several months, a man has been groping women on and around Brigham Young University’s campus — at least 15 women have reported being assaulted.

Groping, under Utah law, is at the least considered a crime of sexual battery, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail; at the most, it could be forcible sexual abuse, a first- or second-degree felony punishable by a lengthy prison term. Yet hundreds of people on Twitter are following tweets mocking the groper, the crime and, some say, the victims of sexual assault.

With no tweets since Saturday, @BYUgroper had 332 followers as of Tuesday afternoon. A person started tweeting from that account on March 20, and has sent out tweet masterpieces such as “Hide yo kids hide yo wife and hide your husband cuz I’m gropin errbody out there,” “Y’all just jealous because I be gettin more action than you” and “Lock your windows tonight ladies!!! Or don’t.”

Another account started tweeting on March 21, @TheSerialGroper. That account only has 156 followers, but has been more active, with tweets like “On the prowl lol,” and “If groping is a joke call me Kevin Hart cuz I’m killin it.”

One Twitter follower said of @TheSerialGroper, “whoever created this account is my hero.”

Celeste Lojik, sexual assault outreach coordinator for the Center for Women and Children in Crisis in Utah County, doesn’t think it’s funny. One in three women will be victims of sexual assault in her life, so chances are the people who are tweeting and laughing about these accounts knows a sexual assault victim or will be one.

“When you’re making jokes like this, you’re laughing at victims,” she said.

For some reason, victims of sexual assault are made fun of more than victims of other crimes.

“You don’t hear people make fun of murder victims,” she said, and victims of sex crimes deserve the same respect.

It takes a lot of courage to report a sexual assault and jokes like these could have serious repercussions — sexual assault victims could decide against reporting a crime because they don’t want to be laughed at or shamed, she said.

Lojik said they’ve discussed these Twitter accounts around the center, and they all agree they’re appalling. Education can help stop the shaming and joking about sexual assault, as can taking a stand against people who think it’s funny.

“Let them know it’s not appropriate,” she said.

April is sexual assault awareness month, and the Center for Women and Children in Crisis will be holding an awareness event later in the month. For more information, check the center’s Facebook page.

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