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10 things men can do to stop rape

 

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. If you don't understand, read this top ten list and get some ideas of how to begin. (Men- can you imagine not sleeping with your windows open on a breezy, warm summer night?)

Stop Rape!

Top Ten Things that Men Can Do

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.

(Credit-The Men’s Rape Prevention Project: What Men Can Do.)

 

September 2005