Thursday, September 22, 2005

New rape prevention group focuses on men

I really admire what these guys are doing:
Four guys are spending their first year after college road-tripping in an RV they've nicknamed "Bela." The quartet, all 22, is touring the country with a lofty goal: to end rape on college campuses.

They're not doling out safety tips to women--telling them to watch their drinks at parties or walk at night with a buddy.

They're not talking to women at all.

Instead, they're going to the source of most rapes--men.
They're methods also seem very solid:
The One in Four guys said they're careful not to accuse men they speak to or talk to them as if they were potential rapists. They appeal to men's empathy and desire to help. Their presentation includes tips on how to help a friend who is a sexual assault survivor, including listening and believing someone when she says she's been raped.

They also discuss stereotypes about men and sex: that guys have to force sex to be a man; that if a drunk woman doesn't say no that means she wants sex; that most men think jokes about rape are funny.

They stress that rape is a violent crime that has nothing to do with sex. The point is to get men to think about sexual assault so they won't do it or condone it.
A lot of rape prevention seems to be placed on women. While I have no problems with being taught how to become a "defensive driver," as it were--learning how to make oneself less vulnerable to sexual assault and rape--there has been a lack of dialogue with men about this. Hopefully, this becomes more common.

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