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California adopts 'yes means yes' sexual assault rule

 
 
One Eyed Mind
 
  2  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2014 05:43 pm
@firefly,
Firefly, calm your emotion and snap back to reason.

There's a huge difference between posting events from the "same" college, and posting events from "different" colleges "around the world".
BillRM
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2014 05:48 pm
@One Eyed Mind,
Quote:
Einstein could create a nuclear bomb because he didn't skimp the numbers.

Will I do not give any credit to either numbers however to be fair we are not dealing with the hard numbers that can be found in physics or other hard sciences when you are dealing with human beings.

Next Einstein did help convince the US government to start the Manhattan project however he did not work on the project and in fact due to his history of being a very outspoken pacifist and Hoover opinion that he might be a communist was never given a security clearance and found out that the US have a nuclear weapon when the rest of the population did.
One Eyed Mind
 
  2  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2014 05:50 pm
@BillRM,
That's the point. Einstein and Tesla worked with the hard numbers and created things man could not imagine at that time.

People who are dealing with social numbers can't even get their fractions right. Why? They made them up - that's evidence that they are using uncertain numbers to pass off their biased views, which again have been challenged by you and I already.

Their numbers don't make sense - they even doubt their own numbers.
firefly
 
  0  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2014 06:00 pm
It's more important for everyone to know what consent is, and abide by it, than to quibble over the exact parentages who were sexually assaulted, particularly since the Justice Department has already admitted its figures didn't actually reflect rape statistics until 2 years ago, because they didn't include the state definitions of rape, so the crime was being under-reported even on a statistical level.
One Eyed Mind
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2014 06:03 pm
@firefly,
The statistics you are providing are provided by people who don't know what consent is.

I know consent. I don't play with people's ignorance to get away with my desires.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2014 06:03 pm
@firefly,
firefly wrote:

It's more important for everyone to know what the our owners definition this hour for consent is, and abide by it least we get up close and personal with a jail cell.


FIXED
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2014 06:04 pm
@One Eyed Mind,
Well I do not think that the numbers we are talking about was created in good faith to begin with, however I do think that human studies done in good faith by people who know how to design such studies correctly can come up with useful numbers even those such numbers will inherently have a higher margin of errors then the hard sciences.
One Eyed Mind
 
  0  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2014 06:08 pm
@BillRM,
If I was doing a study on something as controversial as rape, I would not be skimping the numbers, when math is self-explanatory. They didn't get the right fraction because they didn't put one extra step of thought into their study - why? They didn't care. It's basic psychology. They did not commit to their studies because they had ulterior motives.
firefly
 
  0  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2014 06:13 pm
@One Eyed Mind,
Quote:

There's a huge difference between posting events from the "same" college, and posting events from "different" colleges "around the world".

Massachuessets, and California are both still in the U.S.--I posted 2 articles, about recently reported sexual assaults, involving their students, in those 2 states.

The statistical crime reports are on-going...including this past week.

When people start paying attention to the need for consent, in sexual contacts, those numbers will go down. This isn't brain science.

Some of us can actually focus on real human beings when thinking about sexual assaults, and not just impersonal numbers.
One Eyed Mind
 
  2  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2014 06:23 pm
@firefly,
brain science is... a redundant choice of words, but I digress.

I am aware that people are dancing around the term "rape", like for an example, a guy smacking a girl on the ass is actually considered "rape" in some cases - it's absolutely ridiculous.

What you must understand is that you're taking few cases around the world and assuming it's evidence to support those statistical numbers that - again, make absolutely no sense.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2014 06:34 pm
@firefly,
firefly wrote:



When people start paying attention to the need for consent, in sexual contacts, those numbers will go down. This isn't brain science.



When our owners classify more acts as rape then they are likely to get more rape. The only way they do not is if people change their behavior, and we have a lot of experience with new lawmaking failing to change human vices. I think that the major outcome will be increased contempt for government.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  0  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2014 07:04 pm
@One Eyed Mind,
Quote:

I am aware that people are dancing around the term "rape", like for an example, a guy smacking a girl on the ass is actually considered "rape" in some cases - it's absolutely ridiculous.

No, that's not considered "rape". And that's why colleges don't use the word "rape" which is a felony crime which is specified in state law.
Police accuse and charge people with "rape", colleges investigate and adjudicate violations of "sexual assaults" on their campuses. "Sexual assaults" is a much more inclusive definition that could include unwanted touching, groping, fondling, any kind of non-consensual sexual contact, sexual harassment, stalking, etc. Some of these acts would fit state definitions of rape, others might not.

You apparently don't understand the topic. The need for affirmative consent is an effort to make sure that consent for any sexual act is really present--by relying on "Yes means yes" and not just "No means no"(which is still state law). Consent is what differentiates "rape" from unlawful, unwanted, sexual contacts--but it's not the only type of non-consensual sexual contact that colleges are talking about, or the only kinds of gender-related crimes they are trying to prevent, although forcible sexual assaults are definitely among them.

You can't go around fondling other peoples' breasts, or penises either, without getting affirmative consent first. It's not just about "rape". And "smacking a girl on the ass", or a man, could well be regarded as a violent act, having nothing to do with "rape" if such contact is unwanted.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2014 07:32 pm
@One Eyed Mind,
Quote:
It's basic psychology. They did not commit to their studies because they had ulterior motives.


Of course they have ulterior motives of selling their world view of men and how men was abusing women on a very large scale.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  4  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2014 07:41 pm
Sexual assault is hardly a problem that's affecting only women, particularly on college campuses. A lot of people seem to be overlooking that.

Quote:
In a nationally representative survey of adults:1
• Nearly 1 in 5 (18.3%) women and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) reported experiencing rape at some time in their lives.

In a nationally representative survey of adults, 37.4% of female rape victims were first raped between ages 18-24.1
• In a study of undergraduate women, 19% experienced attempted or completed sexual assault since entering college.2

• Approximately 1 in 20 women and men (5.6% and 5.3%, respectively) experienced sexual violence other than rape, such as being made to penetrate someone else, sexual coercion, unwanted sexual contact, or non-contact unwanted sexual experiences, in the 12 months prior to the survey.

• 4.8% of men reported they were made to penetrate someone else at some time in their lives.

• 13% of women and 6% of men reported they experienced sexual coercion at some time in their lives.

In a nationally representative survey:1
• Among female rape victims, perpetrators were reported to be intimate partners (51.1%), family members (12.5%), acquaintances (40.8%) and strangers (13.8%).

• Among male rape victims, perpetrators were reported to be acquaintances (52.4%) and strangers (15.1%).

• Among male victims who were made to penetrate someone else, perpetrators were reported to be intimate partners (44.8%), acquaintances (44.7%) and strangers (8.2%).

http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/sv-datasheet-a.pdf


firefly
 
  4  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2014 07:49 pm
Quote:
Men Raped: Supporting the Male Survivor of
Sexual Assault on the College Campus
by Lester J. Manzano

Sexual assault has become imbued in campus culture. Although colleges and universities have combated this culture in many ways, what has resulted is a sexual assault survivors’ culture dominated by women. Issues of male sexual assault have not been addressed fully. Are institutions of higher learning prepared to support the male survivor on college campuses by doing away with the female-dominated culture of rape crisis and women’s centers and replacing them with gender- and sex-neutral centers? Are rape prevention education programs inclusive of men as victims of sexual assault? This article examines issues encountered by the male survivor of sexual assault, in addition to student perceptions of sexual assault, gender- and sex-inclusive rape education, and the under-reporting of sexual assault—male sexual assault in particular. Finally, the author discusses student affairs’ role in creating an inclusive environment in which the male survivor can break his silence.

My friend sat across our usual table in our familiar coffeeshop. Between sips of coffee, which had the dual role of satisfying a caffeine fit and stalling the conversation, my friend described and shared with me an incident of sexual assault. My friend disclosed a horrific story, complete with all the familiar characteristics of an acquaintance rape. This story, however, had what many would call a "twist"—my friend, the survivor, was male.

Background

The occurrence of male sexual assault, wherein the victim is male, and the perpetrator is either male or female, has been overlooked by administrators at colleges and universities. General public and popular culture have traditionally viewed rape and other forms of sexual assault in the context of violence against women (Scarce, 1997). Scarce found that an estimated 5% to 10% of all rapes committed in the United States involve male victims. Sexual assault can happen to anyone. Laurent (1993) described the rape of a man or woman: "It’s not primarily a crime of sex—it’s a crime of violence, perpetrated against those who are seen to be vulnerable" (p. 19). In this respect, it is imperative that we take into account the occurrences of male sexual assault.

Statistics of female sexual assault, however under-reported, are well-known. According to Simon and Harris (1993), one in four college women will be a victim of sexual assault. For many student affairs professionals, this information is not new. However, what is striking is that Simon and Harris also found that one in six college men are victims of sexual assault. Further research by Struckman-Johnson (1991) supports the findings of male sexual assault on college campuses. She found that from 12% to 16% of male college students were forced into sexual intercourse by dating partners, and from less than 1% to as many as 7% of men reported being physically coerced into sex by dating partners.

Though the occurrence of male sexual assault may be minute compared to the number of assaults reported by women, the findings of these studies suggest that male sexual assault warrants attention. Efforts must be made to understand the effects of male sexual assault so that we, as student affairs professionals, can support the needs of male college students inclusively.

The Effects of Male Sexual Assault

Female vs. Male Sexual Assault

While society, to an extent, dictates differences between a woman’s and a man’s reaction to assault, similarities exist between the post-traumatic experiences of both. "The terror men feel can be just as great as that experienced by a woman, and fear freezes people" (Laurent, 1993, p. 19). According to a survey conducted by Struckman-Johnson and Struckman-Johnson (1992), 60% of male survivors believed they were going to be killed during the assault. Furthermore, these researchers found that men are raped by the full range of methods similarly used against women (e.g., use of weapons, threats, entrapment in rooms or cars, intoxication so as not to resist or give consent). Emotional issues of guilt and blame—common feelings of the female survivor—also make their way into the realm of male sexual assault. Laurent found that "men...have...guilt feelings that they must have done something and sent out some signals, rather than being in the wrong place at the wrong time" (p. 19).

Despite these similarities, it is important to note that the socialization of men in many cultures is reflected in many male survivors’ coping mechanisms. According to Rogers (1995), male victims are more likely than females to show a controlled manner (e.g., men are less likely to seek help at rape crisis centers, and men express less emotional struggle than women) as opposed to disorganizational manner (e.g., lost sense of control) in their initial response to the assault.

Rape Trauma Syndrome and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

It is a common result of sexual assault: Survivors often experience the psychological ramifications of an attack in the form of rape trauma syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder. Struckman-Johnson (1991) reported that male survivors experience a type of post-traumatic stress disorder involving nightmares, flashbacks, recurrent thoughts about the assault, or panic attacks. Further, in the weeks or months following the assault, most male victims—like female victims—report changes in their mood or life-style, some experiencing depression, inability to sleep, and loss of appetite.

Post-rape trauma syndrome refers to the two-stage reaction of assault seen in many female survivors. An acute "disorganizational" phase lasts a few days or up to two to three weeks when physical symptoms and fear are prominent. A "reorganizational" phase then occurs during which the woman gradually comes to terms with the rape. The extent to which these same reactions can be seen in male victims has not been studied; however, research suggests that men who are sexually assaulted undergo a trauma syndrome that is similar, but not identical, to that of women (Burgess & Holmstrom, 1974).

Supporting the Male Survivor

Men who have been sexually assaulted face many issues beyond the disbelief that the assault took place. They are likely to find their sexual identity as much in question as the actual occurrence of the assault (Laurent, 1993). The issue of being perceived as a gay man is a typical concern for the survivor. In supporting male survivors, we must be aware of this concern in addition to the underlying fears of having lost strength and control.

Society believes that men are emotionally strong, and many people assume that male sexual assault survivors are able to cope with the experience (Struckman-Johnson & Struckman-Johnson, 1992). However, men are more likely than women to blame themselves for not being able to resist the attacker (Laurent, 1993). These differences in male and female responses to sexual assault may be seen as a reflection of sex-role socialization. Emotional expression in men is perceived as a sign of weakness and vulnerability, both of which are evidence that they are less than "real men." However, most findings suggest that male victims of sexual assault experience very similar responses to those of females (Struckman-Johnson & Struckman-Johnson).

Beyond support from friends or professionals, male survivors must consider the challenges of reporting sexual assault to campus police or other authorities. It is important to realize that a male survivor’s masculinity has already been challenged once by the attack, and he may feel that it will be challenged again by authorities (Laurent, 1993).

Lack of Support on the College Campus

Under-Reporting of Male Rape

Sexual assault, in general, is a rarely reported crime. Male sexual assault is even more under-reported. Much of this is a result of the myths about such incidents. College students’ beliefs such as "it can’t happen to men" or "men are able to handle such a situation" contribute to stereotypes, prejudices, and disbelief when it comes to reporting an incident of male sexual assault (Struckman-Johnson & Struckman-Johnson, 1992). These researchers stated:

To the extent men believe that being sexually assaulted reflects personal blame or weakness, they are unlikely to report the incident. To the extent that police, medical, and legal authorities accept male rape myths, they will fail to ask male victims if rape has occurred, or may respond inappropriately if rape has clearly happened. Consequently, a cycle of silence is maintained. (p. 98)

Further, Scarce (1997) recognized gender differences in reporting, possibly due to socialization in many societies, and found that fewer men than women are willing to report being raped.

A Female-Dominated Culture of Support

Campus cultures long ago moved toward becoming supportive of women in a male-dominated world. Across the nation, colleges and universities are establishing women’s centers to serve as resources for women. Often, sexual assault education and prevention programs are set up through women’s centers. Meanwhile, other institutions may establish their own rape crisis centers, usually staffed by women and displaying women-specific literature. "Male survivors of sexual assault may be less likely to report or seek treatment for their assault, in part because these men view rape crisis centers and hot-lines as having been established to serve only women" (Scarce, 1997, p. 172).

For the male survivor of sexual assault, the dilemma is that college rape education and prevention programs are often housed within these women’s centers or run by organizations that provide services and funding to female survivors. Many of these programs have mission statements that define their priority as the improvement of the campus climate for women while empowering them to overcome obstacles of sexism (Scarce, 1997).

What can administrators at institutions of higher learning do to create a more inclusive environment, so that male survivors will feel they have an outlet for resources and are supported on the college campus?

Heightening Awareness and Offering Support

Creating an Inclusive and Open Campus Community

Firkaly and Benn (1995) analyzed characteristics of a rape-prone culture and a rape-free culture. Although their suggestions are modeled after a sexist culture of male dominance, the characteristics can be applied to campus environments such that colleges and universities become rape-free environments. They described a rape-prone culture in which men are socialized to be the "stronger" gender; political, economic, and religious powers are held by men; and traditional "women’s work" is devalued. The researchers went on to describe a rape-free culture in which both men and women are in respected and influential decision-making positions; religious rituals are shared equally by men and women; and male and female qualities are valued equally. Much of these characteristics can be applied to rape-prone and rape-free campus environments.

Meanwhile, Scarce (1997) offers suggestions for increasing awareness of male sexual assault on college campuses through six different areas. Within these areas, administrators at a college or university can measure and evaluate whether or not services are offered which would support the male survivor of sexual assault:

1.Prepare resources and referrals for male survivors (i.e., publish male specific or gender-neutral literature and provide counseling for male-specific issues).

2.Provide training to campus health clinic and emergency room staff (e.g., forensic collection of evidence in rape cases should include male-specific content).

3.Determine and address the legal implications of same-sex rape (i.e., Do law enforcement officials receive sexual assault sensitivity training? Is the occurrence of male rape addressed? How does law define sexual assault?).

4.Ensure that campus policies apply to same-sex sexual violence (e.g., be sure that language is inclusive of the reality of male sexual assault).

5.Conduct prevention and education work in addition to treatment. Reacting is not enough. "Absence of attention to male rape denies the reality of same-sex rape and subsequently renders male survivors invisible" (Scarce, p. 173).

6.Provide culturally competent programs (i.e., address not only male issues of sexual assault, but issues regarding ethnicity and concerns of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered students).

College and University Peer Education Programs

Peer education and prevention programs provide outreach and disseminate information regarding sexual assault on the college campus. In doing so, it is important to engage students in discussions of male sexual assault. Subsequently, such programs heighten awareness, and students begin to view the occurrence of male sexual assault as more than a myth.

Currently, information about male sexual assault is frequently absent in campus rape education and prevention programming, because the general public and popular culture have traditionally viewed rape in the context of violence against women (Scarce, 1997). What we must move toward is rape education and rape prevention programming inclusive of the topic of male sexual assault. Further, literature must become gender-neutral to avoid giving men the impression that rape or other forms of sexual assault cannot happen to them.

Conclusion

Male sexual assault is a reality. It is a reality which can no longer be overlooked by administrators and educators at colleges and universities. In light of the findings of the prevalence of male sexual assault and the special concerns of the occurrence of male sexual assault, it is important to establish a campus environment where male survivors feel supported and not neglected by the present culture of campus environments and the current support services in place for female survivors of sexual assault.

Research has found male survivors suffer from effects of assault similar to that of female survivors. Rape trauma syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder are common psychological manifestations of sexual assault. With societal constructs of men’s emotional strength and stoicism, there are additional concerns for men who have been sexually assaulted. In all areas of colleges and universities’ support services and in areas of rape prevention education, it is important to address the issues faced by both male and female survivors.

Areas of college and university services which must become aware of male survivors’ concerns include: student health, campus police, counseling, rape prevention and awareness education, and women’s and rape crisis centers. When these areas come together to create an environment where the incidents of male sexual assault are not overlooked, but rather addressed and valued, a campus environment in which male survivors are comfortable reporting incidents and seeking support will be fostered. It is this community of inclusive support which will help the male survivor to break his silence.

http://www.uvm.edu/~vtconn/v19/manzano.html


Maybe colleges will now begin listening better to all survivors of sexual assault.
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2014 08:57 pm
@firefly,
Thank you for posting that Firefly.

If I remember correctly, this last post represents a 180 degree turn from your earlier posts.

Congratulations. At least you are softening up a little bit. (Be careful though... you have now done enough that some feminists will accuse you of being a rape supporter.)


firefly
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2014 10:09 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
If I remember correctly, this last post represents a 180 degree turn from your earlier posts.

Congratulations. At least you are softening up a little bit. (Be careful though... you have now done enough that some feminists will accuse you of being a rape supporter.)


No, you don't remember correctly, this is not any sort of a turn from earlier posts in either this thread or the rape thread--I have always believed that and said that repeatedly.

Sexual assault is sexual assault.

I couldn't care less what some feminists I've never even heard about think of me. I speak as myself, a woman, and as one concerned about all victims and survivors of sexual assault, regardless of gender. That's why I fully supported the change in the Justice Department definition of rape 2 years ago, so it better protected both genders, in any type of unwanted penetrative sexual contact, including with objects, so it applied to any type of rape with any combinations of gender involved, something Hawkeye and BillRM vehemently opposed. They seem not to care about men whose sexual orientation they might not not approve of, such men seem to not even exist for them, or any man who is sexually assaulted must be weak. Unfortunately, victim blaming, or shaming, makes men reluctant to some forward to report, or get help, just as it does for women.

It's most often the men in this thread, like those two, who fail to recognize sexual assault as anything other than an assault on women by a male, and reports of it as anything other than an abuse of men They can't even discuss it in gender neutral terms.

It's mainly the women's groups who've really been working to try to stop violence, including sexual violence, against LGBT members. If you're so interested in "feminism" try looking at N.O.W.'s Website on it's issue page, where it makes that evident--that's the largest, most influential "feminist" lobbying group in the country, with considerably more clout than any handful of philosophical academic feminists.

And, it's the male feminist President and Vice President of the U.S. who have finally gotten serious about tackling the problem of sexual assaults on campuses, and who have the authority to do that, and the male feminist governors of N.Y. and California who have launched statewide campus policies that better support and protect both genders from sexual assaults, protect and support them equally and, hopefully, that's the wave of the future.

Sexual assault is sexual assault.

And it's finally the most influential men in the country who have recognized that. The women have known that for some time. Wink

hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2014 11:16 pm
@firefly,
Quote:
Sexual assault is sexual assault.
and deception is deception....do you have any other revelations for us today??

Quote:
The women have known that for some time
Are you aware that prosecutors do what ever they can to keep women off of sexual assault juries because much more often than men they are not willing to convict? Why is that Firefly?
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  0  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2014 11:21 pm
Some students have been taking the route of civil suits against their attackers and/or their universities. This is one of the latest.

Quote:
Multi-million dollar lawsuit accuses Virginia Wesleyan lacrosse player of rape
October 3, 2014, by
Mike Mather

A ten-million dollar lawsuit accuses a Virginia Wesleyan lacrosse player of rape, and it accuses the school of giving him a break so he could transfer to another campus.

The lawsuit filed today in Norfolk doesn’t mince words. It says “The College knew that male students were drugging female students, rendering them incapacitated, and raping them…” while security guards and college officials turned a blind eye.

The woman filing the lawsuit is using the name “Jane Doe.” Her attorney says that is to protect her privacy. She says that as a freshman in 2012, a student who had the title of “peer advisor” took her to a party where she was drugged. The lawsuit alleges an upper-class lacrosse team member followed her from the party, forced her into his dorm and raped her.

The suit says the attack left her “battered, bruised and bloodied.” It further says a security guard later “witnessed her bloody shorts, yet offered no assistance.”

The document includes exhibits from the U.S. Department of Education, showing Virginia Wesleyan has per capita one of the state’s highest rate of sex assaults and alcohol violations.

According to college documents included in the lawsuit, officials at first expelled the lacrosse player. But in a letter to his accuser later, they told her they changed their decision, and let him instead withdraw from the college so he could attend school elsewhere. NewsChannel 3 is not identifying the lacrosse player yet because we have not been able to talk to him. According to “Jane Doe’s” lawyer, the attacker was not criminally prosecuted.

In an email to NewsChannel 3, a college spokeswoman said: “While we sympathize with Jane Doe, the college denies any allegation of improper conduct and will vigorously defend this lawsuit.” NewsChannel 3 obtained a text alert sent to VWC students today with similar wording.

The student’s lawyer says the young woman needed psychiatric help and counseling after the attack. The suit seeks 10 million dollars.
http://wtkr.com/2014/10/03/multi-million-dollar-lawsuit-accuses-virginia-wesleyan-lacrosse-player-of-rape/

0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  0  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2014 11:29 pm
Quote:

"What College Men Think Of The New Rape Prevention Campaign That’s Targeting Them"
by Tara Culp-Ressler
September 23, 2014
http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/consent-638x424.jpg
Penn State students spreading the word about sexual assault prevention

One of the specific goals of the White House’s new “It’s On Us” sexual assault prevention campaign, which was rolled out on Friday, is to mobilize men to get involved in the fight against the campus rape crisis. A fact sheet about the new initiative notes that it hopes to “change social norms” by encouraging men to demonstrate they don’t condone sexual violence.

The Obama administration has been both praised and critiqued for its recent approach to the issue of sexual assault on college campuses, which is the subject of a White House Task Force created last winter. But what does its target audience think about it? ThinkProgress reached out to college-age men to find out where they stand on “It’s On Us,” and whether they think it’s what their campus needs.

“I’ve read a few articles about it. I think it’s a really positive thing and I’m really glad to see the White House taking a strong stance,” Chris Priore, a student at Stony Brook University in New York, said. “I think it’s really good that it’s not just talking to the person who’s the victim and saying hey, this is how you can get out of this situation, and putting it on them — instead it’s making it so the whole community is culpable for it.”

“It seems to be an interesting program,” Chris Weeks, the student body president at Occidental College in the Los Angeles area, added. Weeks has been getting emails about “It’s On Us” since July, as the White House has been reaching out to student leaders to try to get them on board. “I don’t think it’s really reached many students here yet.”

Ben Ray, a student at the University of Alabama, just recently learned about the campaign and thinks it’s a “wonderful thing.” Before he spoke to ThinkProgress, he went online and signed the pledge, which asks participants to be “part of the solution” by learning what constitutes sexual assault and creating an environment in which this crime is viewed as unacceptable.

“Here at the University of Alabama, we’ve had issues historically with sexual assault, and some of our best efforts to raise awareness about these issues haven’t gone as well as they could have,” Ray explained. “So it’s nice to have the White House finally speaking out about sexual assault on campus.”

“The fraternity I helped found is very committed to this cause. We wholeheartedly support ‘It’s On Us’ and want to do whatever we can to spread the word about it,” Aloke Prabhu, a student at James Madison University whose Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity chapter works to raise money for sexual assault prevention, said.

The college students who spoke to ThinkProgress said they welcome the shift away from approaching sexual assault as an issue that individual women need to protect themselves against. Targeting efforts toward men, they said, could eventually encourage more college guys to tell their friends that they shouldn’t take advantage of drunk people.

“Here at college, it means men on campus will set the precedent that sexual assault is not okay — and beyond that, that all of the microaggressions along the spectrum of harm that lead to rape culture are also not okay,” John Damianos, a sexual assault prevention activist at Dartmouth College who has been involved in advising the new White House Task Force, explained. Those microaggressions could range from making a rape joke, to suggesting that a sexual assault victim was “asking for it” because she wore a short skirt to a party, to catcalling a woman on the street.

“It just kind of changes the national dialogue and it changes the kind of — I hate to say it — the frat boy mentality of, oh yeah, she got so drunk, I had a great time,” Priore said. “I think people kind of distance themselves from this issue and they say ‘oh, I would never rape anyone.’ But those same people might take advantage of someone who’s drunk and can’t defend themselves, and they don’t make the connection that hey, that is rape.”

“Fraternities have this social stigma that they always promote this kind of rape culture,” Prabhu acknowledged. He said he’s trying to change that within his own chapter by bringing in female speakers who can speak to the brothers about issues related to sexual assault. According to Prabhu, that’s “absolutely well-received” among the guys in Alpha Sigma Phi, who “want to be part of the solution,” and that’s why he thinks efforts like “It’s On Us” could have a similarly positive reception among college men.

All of the students interviewed by ThinkProgress said they ultimately want to see inclusive efforts to address sexual assault that recognize it can be perpetrated against both men and women, as well as against people who don’t identify with a gender. Weeks also noted that a national “one size fits all” campaign may not have as much impact as the grassroots student activism that’s already happening on the ground. While they disagreed slightly about the White House’s campaign’s practical impact — some said that it’s doing a lot to raise awareness among their peers, while others said it hasn’t really made a difference on campus — they all said it seems like a positive step to have President Obama raising awareness about sexual assault.

“I’m not going to let the perfect be the enemy of the good here,” Dave Churvis, a student at Georgia State University, said. “Just the fact that the White House is talking about this stuff is amazing to me. The fact that you have a very powerful man talking to men, and saying that men need to be talking to men about this stuff, is just amazing.”

“When I started at Dartmouth, this was not something everyone was talking about. Now there’s a buzz on campus,” Damianos said.
http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/09/23/3570797/college-men-rape-prevention/
 

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