Sunday, November 27, 2011

Rape as a Men’s Issue - A training for men

I am putting together a training for men to, at the very least, start the conversation that Rape is a Men’s Issue. The idea is to start with the text below and develop the conversation to a personal level. I want each attendee to the training to understand that “Hey baby, nice [body part]!” is not a compliment and that when they even go that far they have gone too far.

Although I know this is long any input on refining this is greatly appreciated. (I put this together from many sources on the internet.)

Rape as a Men’s Issue (working title)

Why we are here:

Women live with the knowledge that they are at high risk to be raped. Unlike men, they must always take into account what the risk factors are in any activity they plan. Women are often admonished to take precautions in their day-to-day lives. Why should the responsibility for rape prevention hinge on factors such as whether or not women park in well lit areas, walk with the buddy system or lock car doors? The truth is, the responsibility for rape PREVENTION belongs to men! Because if rape is to stop, it MUST begin with men. All men. Not just the few who become rapists, but also with every man we know.

Overview

Definitions (Discussion)

Ask everyone to define Rape

Ask everyone to define Sexual Harassment

Top 10 things men can do to stop rape

Review and discuss

Statistical information about sexual abuse

Objectification

Making it Personal

Top 10 things men can do to stop rape

Although statistics show that most men never rape, the overwhelming majority of rapists (and one in ten victims) are in fact male. We ask men to make a promise to be a different kind of man—one who values equality and whose strength is not used for hurting.


1.       Be Aware of Language. We live in a society in which words often cut down or put down women. Avoid words like bitch, whore, freak, dog. Those words send a message that females are less than human. Seeing them in such a light makes it easier to treat them without respect or to ignore their well being.
2.       Communicate. Sexual violence goes hand in hand with poor sexual communication. Our own discomfort in speaking about sexual issues dramatically raises the risk of rape. By learning effective means of sexual communication—stating your desires clearly and listening to your partner, men make sex safer for themselves and others.
3.       Speak Up. You may never see a rape in progress but you will hear jokes and language that is inappropriate and degrades women. When your best friend tells a joke about rape, tell him it is not funny. Support women who bring charges against violent men. Do anything but remain silent.
4.       Support Survivors of Rape. Rape will not be taken seriously until everyone understands how common it is. In the U.S. alone, hundreds of thousands of women are raped each year. By learning to sensitively support the survivors in their lives, men can help both women and men feel more comfortable about coming forward and talking about what has happened to them.
5.       Contribute Your Time and Money. Join or donate to an organization working to prevent violence against women (532-6444). Rape Crisis Centers, Domestic Violence Shelters and similar groups depend on your donations for support. In the Manhattan area you can join SAFEZONE or The Campaign For Nonviolence, for example. You can give financial support to those groups as well as the K-State Women’s Center, the local Crisis Center Inc. and others. For info, see www.ksu.edu/womenscenter.
6.       Talk with Women. If you’re willing to listen, there is much to be learned about how the “risk of being raped” affects women’s daily lives. Talk to them about it.
7.       Talk with Men. Talk about what it is like to be viewed as a potential rapist. Talk about the fact that 15-20% of all males will be sexually abused in their lifetime. Talk about whether they know any rape survivors. But start talking.
8.       Organize. Join an organization dedicated to stopping sexual violence. Men’s anti rape groups are powerful. They are gaining popularity on college campuses. If you have the time and the drive, you can make a powerful difference. At KSU, join the PEERS student activist group! http://www.k-state.edu/womenscenter/
9.       Work against ALL oppression. Rape feeds off of all forms of prejudice including racism, homophobia, and religious discrimination. By speaking out against behaviors that promote one group as being superior to another, you support everyone’s equality. And finally…….
10.   Don’t ever have sex with anyone against their will—No matter what.

Statistical information about sexual abuse

  • ·         Every hour in the United States, 16 women confront rapists; a woman is raped every six minutes.
  • ·         Three out of four women will be victims of at least one violent crime during their lifetime.
  • ·         One-third of all domestic violence cases, if reported, would be charged as felony rape or felonious assault.
  • ·         The crime rate against women in the United States is significantly higher than in other country — the United States has a rape rate that is 13 times higher than England’s, nearly four times higher than Germany’s, and more than 20 times higher than Japan’s.
  • ·         Of all those arrested for major crimes — murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny theft, motor vehicle theft and arson — rapists are the most likely to escape conviction.
  • ·         More than 40 percent of college women who have been raped say that they expect to be raped again.
  • ·         There were more women injured by rapists last year than Marines wounded by the enemy in all of World War II.
  • ·         Although campus studies suggest that 1,275 women were raped at America’s three largest universities in 1989, only three of those rapes were reported to police.
  • ·         One out of every seven women currently attending college has been raped.
  • ·         Since 1974, the rate of assaults against young women (20-24) has jumped 48 percent. For men of the same age group, it has decreased 12 percent.

Objectification (to Objectify)

  • ·         Definition from Dictionary.com - to present as an object, especially of sight, touch, or other physical sense
  •       o   In other words to treat a person as anything less than an equal.
  • ·         Discussion of objectification in our culture today and why it is wrong.
  • ·         How this gives a sense of entitlement from the aggressor
  • ·         How it makes the victim feel and react

Making it Personal

Discussion with the training group:

Do you know anyone that has been made uncomfortable?

Have you ever made someone uncomfortable, that you know of?

Have you ever said something you regret?

Have you ever said or done anything that you should regret?

Appropriate Behavior

Types of inappropriate behavior

  • ·         Touching of any kind
  • ·         Whistles
  • ·         Comments like, “hey babe…”, “Damn you are hot!”, “hey sexy”
  • ·         Ask for other examples of inappropriate behavior

Types of appropriate behavior

  • ·         Asking to assist, such as “May I get the door for you?”
  • ·         To compliment a woman on her appearance, a tip of the hat or a nod of the head with a smile as you pass. Do NOT turn and watch her walk away!  That is Objectification!
  • ·         Always treat everyone, male or female, with respect! Only say to them things you want to be said to your mother. If you wouldn’t say something to your sister/mother/grandmother you probably shouldn’t say it at all!

Any input can be sent to zhounder@zhounder.com