If Our Country Wants to Reduce Sexual Assault on Campuses, We Must . . .

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START BEFORE THEY GET TO CAMPUS (in fact before they get to high school). –

To truly reduce sexual assault and sexual violence on college campuses, we need a movement focused on cultural transformation that takes place years before a college student steps on campus. If we really want to lower sexual assault on university campuses for the long-run, our country must move to educating the youngest of all genders on respect, boundaries, and honoring every individual as being valuable.

Prior to students reaching the point at which there is a strong potential for them to be participating in sexual activity, curriculum needs to be instituted in schools that is age appropriate at teaching “how to” skills sets for sexual decision-making that honors every person’s choices and boundaries.

Our country needs to proactively teach that the beauty and amazement of wonderful sexual experiences requires for BOTH people to want the sexual activity; both people to be of an age of understanding their choices (age of sexual consent); both people able to verbally fully communicate likes and dislikes; both people to be of sound mind; both people able to ask for what they want and don’t want; and to honor the answer of your partner when you do request sexual activity (consent).

Until this transformation is in place, universities need to be teaching “How To” skills for requesting and honoring consent; providing students the precise words to support survivors coming forward; and teaching specific strategies for bystander intervention.

If everyone is asking first and honoring the answer, each person’s boundaries would be respected at all times. If every survivor felt fully supported in coming forward, more survivors would feel safe and comforted coming forward.

Bystander intervention is important to stop the crime of sexual assault that frequently is excused in our current culture (people calling a alcohol-facilitated sexual assault a “drunk hookup” is unfortunately common – doing so minimizes the trauma of the crime and results in few people doing anything to intervene and thus stop the perpetrator).

Regardless of what we are seeing in PSA (Public Service Announcements), Bystander Intervention should be taught to ALL people of all genders. We need to be careful about promoting any messaging based on the concept of “Men Protect Her.” Such messaging reinforces unhealthy gender roles and forgets the fact that all genders are able to make a positive impact (and that survivors can be of any gender).

The well-meaning, yet misguided concept of “Men Protect Her” reminds me of the damage “No Means No” did years ago as an educational campaign. At the time, everyone thought, “‘No Means No’ is a great message!” Except we as a society failed to think of the consequences of the messaging. What happened? With “No Means No,” people ended up blaming survivors for “not saying ‘No’” – instead of the perpetrators who never asked in the first place.

Instead of focusing on “MEN to Protect HER,” we need people to CARE about PEOPLE – all people. Help when you see someone in trouble. The right bystander intervention training will provide you the skills to do so.

This is a golden time for all of us to explore the best approaches for creating long-term cultural transformation. The key is starting WAY BEFORE anyone steps on a college campus.

Mike Domitrz  is the Founder of The Date Safe Project

This piece was cross-posted with permission from the YWCA Blog 

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  • anna

    Summary
    My family and I are being terrorized, abused, severely hurt, raped by Warren & Judy Butler, Matt & Margie Kearney, Rose Larson, Mr. Godwin, Robbie, Patrick O’Connor, John Macquarrie Sr. etc., are my ex in-laws. They are NOT FAMILY. They have been holding my family AGAINST their will for close to 8 years. I recalled that I had overheard Sharon re-act to going outside. (Fresh air hit her face she sounded like it panicked her) That’s how long my ex in-laws have been holding my family against their will. Believe me, if it wasn’t for my family I would have run away a long time ago. They practice voodoo and rape and hurt us using voodoo dolls with our hair on the doll. They killed me. I had to learn to walk, talk, breathe, and swallow again. They have killed, raped, kidnapped and the police seem to be involved. Yes, I do know that Warren, Judy etc. threaten everyone by hurting their family or/and pets but no matter how much I warn you, the police, you still go over to see them. It is like a roach motel, you go in but you don’t come out. (Once you go in you are made to do as they say, you will not have your own life anymore) One time when Judy was raping me using a voodoo doll, a police officer that was watching started “jacking-off”. He must have gotten turned on by watching. When I reach out to any police station, I overhear the police end up stalking me with Warren, Judy etc. also. SeaTac police ARE involved. That is NO doubt. Then when I reach out to the police they see that there are other police officers there & think everything is just fine when it is NOT. So, yes, they have gotten other police from other police stations. We humans tend to believe what we are told but no matter how much I say that every minute is an act AND a lie with Warren, Judy, Rose etc., they believe everything that Warren, Judy, Rose, etc. say. I always hear after they meet them say and find out about the lies, “I trusted you”, or “I believed you”. How sad. They have forgotten how to tell the truth. Judy swears on her mother’s grave and LIES. Recently, it had hit me like a ton of bricks back when Judy’s father died, he was in a retirement home and he was supposedly so sick that they said, “He has been this way for a while”. Well, he was in his street clothes lying on top of the bed and if he was on his way out like Judy, Margie said well, he would have been in a hospital hooked up to a machine to go to the bathroom. He was NOT and he WAS in a retirement home. I figure they found out they were getting this money and they didn’t want to wait for it and they probably killed their father. They got over $110,000.00 each. Warren, Judy well, they spent their money on all that stuff that they are abusing everyone with. They steal everyone’s money including my families. Then they turn around and pay the police to do wrong for them. Is it my family’s money that they pay the police with? I have overheard it myself, Warren offering to pay them “under the table”. They also steal their food money from their food cards and then limit them. This guy, Patrick O’Connor is not family. I have heard he raped Isis. He stole $2500.00 from my checking account you see Judy is VERY sick. She stole my family, my clothes, my money, my pictures, even my husband because of her jealousy. She made my husband and I get a divorce because she couldn’t stand our love. We were married 20 years and divorced 2 years and still together. But he has given up, I heard him say he’d rather be dead. You figure it out. Judy is very sick and is need of mental help. She has had a thing for me for 22 years. Just this morning I overheard her say that she made her brother, Bert, KISS HER PUSSY. OH MY GOD… Is she that jealous? Judy raped and killed my cat, Whiskers. SHE POOPED her pants because she didn’t want to stop looking at me to go to the bathroom. (That was on purpose) They keep threatening me because I keep reaching out to other police stations to get me arrested when they are the criminals. The sad thing is that they are having the police do wrong also. Everyone thinks they can just lie about everything but there will be a time and very soon and everyone will be made to have a polygraph. I think the police should have one now. THERE ARE TOO MANY LIES. I asked the courts numerous times for a protection order only to be denied. Look at what they have done since my 1st time of trying. They should have offered me and my family a safe house at the very least. Now it is not my job but I think the police better wise up and arrest them or kill them. They are very dangerous people. About 1 ½ months ago there was @14 gun shots and they were so strong it shook our windows. I heard Judy say that they were a Cambodian family. Because of the abuse inflicted by Warren, Judy, Rose, Patrick & Mr. Godwin etc. one of them killed their family and then themselves. I even overheard a police officer say “This is the last time I am going to cover up for you” to Warren & Judy. It woke me and then I heard this man scream out “let me out” “let me out”. I heard it was Cambodian family. (4/14) They rape and harm animals and children. I have seen a police man standing by a dead man @ 2 years ago. They been staying at 3027 s 204th street SeaTac WA Bldg. G 62 63 64 68 70 Rooms within Rooms. They seem to have the run of the entire complex. I don’t know what they did to the original owners. They hurt them I do know that. They man gave Judy a fat lip. They have killed. They have raped. They practice voodoo. They need to be stopped. They killed my brother Duke and my cat, whiskers. Please stop them. They keep lying, when I reach out to authority figures, they call them also and say whatever. But you all choose to believe them. They are evil. Less than a month ago they got a woman & she didn’t want to be their “patsy”, and they hurt her. When are you going to stop them??? Judy keeps saying that I raped her 1st, NOBODY raped her, SHE RAPED ME USING HER HAND ON MY PUSSY. She keeps saying that she is anonymous. SHE ISN”T. I keep hearing threats of arresting me for reaching out. They threaten to ruin my car, to kidnap me also. DO YOU KNOW WHAT ANNOMYOUS MEANS??? The money story is all in their heads. I too have seen the “little” pile of $$$. Their story is a lie. I need a lot of hope and ideas. I am running out. She hurts me so much they never let me think even. I don’t want to just roll over and die for them. They have been trying to kill me every day and every minute since I went verbal. Judy is a child rapist. How can you so called police just do NOTHING??? They have been trying to kill me every day every minute lately since I got verbal. They have been shooting me with that “extractor weapon” all the time. We all know what it does to medicine, well she takes MY FOOD. THEY ARE TRYING TO KILL ME. They make everyone push that cough button. IT IS POISON THAT EVERYONE IS PUSHING INSIDE OF ME. Everyone is involved and will go to prison, don’t you see? Sincerely Anonymous