About Greeks Against Sexual Assault
In an effort to further target the Greek community, GASA was created through CVPP in the spring of 2007. A class was developed and all Greek chapters were encouraged to have a representative enroll. The first class in the fall of 2007 had 16 representatives who were educated on the facts about sexual assault and the resources available on campus. The final project for the class was for each representative to go back and present their new knowledge to their own chapters.
Due to the enormous success of the pilot program, the class will be offered on a bi-annual basis and we look forward to sharing the program with many campuses in the coming months.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Saturday, April 3, 2010
American U. article and its media coverage distort, confuse the issue
The recent opinion column in the American University student newspaper and its ensuing media coverage fail to accurately represent the reality of sexual assault on college and university campuses. Rape is not an “incoherent concept” for the estimated one in four college women who will be raped by classmates, boyfriends, friends or dormmates during their college career. Many of the college and university men that Men Can Stop Rape works with in Men Creating Change chapters nationwide are engaged around the issue precisely because they have seen firsthand the devastating effects of sexual assault on women they care about.
Sexual assault is the fault of the perpetrator—no one else. A woman who drinks too much at a party, or goes to a certain party, or goes home with a certain guy is never to blame because that guy made the deliberate choice to rape. Rape is still a felony, and it is never the fault of the survivor. In nearly every state, someone who is intoxicated cannot even legally consent to sex. Blaming women for bringing it on themselves and overblown claims about women who “cry rape” the next morning are time-worn concepts, used the world over to legitimize rape by men who benefit from its impact on women. The line of consent is never blurry, except for those who distort it to condone sexual assault.
Sexual assault prevention efforts must focus on those who commit sexual assault, and the vast majority of those perpetrators are men. They are still a minority among men however, leaving many more men who are opposed to rape, who speak out against it, and who challenge other men to end violence against women. Rather than focus on the tiny percentage of false reports (estimated by credible studies to be between 2-8 percent, similar to other violent crimes), these men focus on the real problem—the millions of women who are our mothers, sisters and daughters; our wives, girlfriends and friends; our classmates, co-workers and fellow service members—who are sexually assaulted every year.
But clearly, not enough men are speaking up as lies, misrepresentations and victim-blaming continue to be the norm in popular coverage of sexual assault. Yesterday, April 1, marked the beginning of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. There is no better time for individuals, especially men, to learn how they can stand up, be strong and take action to prevent sexual violence.
Men Can Stop Rape’s Men Creating Change program mobilizes college and university men across the United States to challenge sexual assault and other forms of violence against women on their campus and in their community. For more information, please contact Joseph Vess, Director of Training and Technical Assistance, at email@example.com or Joe Samalin, Campus Strength Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, April 2, 2010
April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Every two minutes in the United States, a man rapes a woman – and it’s usually a woman he knows. Those of us who know victim/survivors of sexual violence know the toll it takes on them - yet there continue to be numerous examples in our popular culture of blaming rape victims, glorifying rape culture and apologizing for rapists’ behavior.
This year, Sexual Assault Awareness Month seems to be starting with two such examples. An American University article newspaper column berates women who "cry date rape after you sober up the next morning..." http://www.awolau.org/2010
No, this is not an April Fool’s joke. Anti-rape activists won’t be surprised by these latest examples of rape culture, nor by their tired justifications (“it’s just a game, feminists are anti-sex and have no sense of humor”, etc.). Neither the game nor the victim-blaming column are unique – both basically are a restating of traditional misogyny and male supremacist beliefs.
What is exciting to me is the immediate, almost universal anger and condemnation of both by the online feminist community. Videos can go “viral” and so can activism – Facebook status updates and emails from across the world are condemning both. Women are writing with boldness and outrage – men are writing that this is not just a “woman’s issue,” calling for men of conscience to speak out against rape and rape culture. And even though the CNN article states that it’s only “women’s groups” that oppose the rape game, it turns out that men are (finally) speaking out in greater numbers – speaking out against rape and rape culture.
One example is the new Facebook group, “Ten Thousand Men Supporting Women’s Anti-Violence Groups.” Inspired by Pat Eng of the Ms. Foundation for Women, this Facebook group encourages men to donate money or time to their local rape crisis center, domestic violence program, or national anti-violence group.
Ms. Eng delivered a keynote address at the first National Conference for Men’s Anti-Sexist Groups last year – during her keynote, she encouraged male aspiring allies to “show, not tell” their commitment to ending gender-based violence by making a financial donation to such groups. Most of these groups, Eng argued, are facing budgetary emergencies because of the economy – men can help by making a simple donation. The concept made sense to some male attendees, who contacted Eng and started the group. So far, it has just over 1000 members, at least some of whom have made donations to both their local groups and the Ms. Foundation.
My friend Matt belongs to our Boston chapter of the National Organization for Men Against Sexism http://www.nomasboston.org/. He told me, “if women make 78 cents to every man’s dollar, shouldn’t we men tithe 22 cents for every dollar we make?” Agreed – and what better place to send that money than our local rape crisis center!
Another good reason for men to donate is the fact that most rapists are men. But most men are not rapists - those of us who oppose rape and rape culture can no longer remain silent. And money, even a small donation, is a wonderful way for us to support our local rape crisis center.
Facebook users of all genders are encouraged to join the Ten Thousand Men group at http://www.causes.com/tenk
Outrage and organizing against sexism and rape culture is also not new – whether face to face or on the Internet. But I’m impressed and hopeful about the use of the Internet and social networking to organize an articulate response to these latest outrages. Perhaps if people of all genders raise our voices in this manner, some day rape will not happen every two minutes – it’ll happen hardly at all.