What Men Can Do
All men can play a vital role in the
prevention of sexual violence. Here are just a few ways:
You will probably never
see a rape in progress, but you will see and hear attitudes
and behaviors that degrade women and promote rape. When your
best friend tells a joke about rape, say you don't find it
funny. When you read an article that blames a rape survivor
for being assaulted, write a letter to the editor. When laws
are proposed that limit women's rights, let politicians know
that you don't support them. Do anything but remain silent.
Support survivors of rape.
will not be taken seriously until everyone knows how common
it is. In the U.S. alone, more than one million women and
girls are raped each year (Rape in America, 1992). By
learning to sensitively support survivors in their lives,
men can help both women and other men feel safer to speak
out about being raped and let the world know how serious a
problem rape is.
Contribute your time.
the Campus Against Violence Program and other organizations
in the community (Life Crisis Center) to
prevent sexual violence. Come out and support on-campus
to raise awareness of issues of sexual violence. There is
power and strength in numbers. It will take both men and
women to end sexual violence.
Talk with women about how the risk
of being raped affects their daily lives; about how they
want to be supported if it happened to them; about what they
think men can do to prevent sexual violence. If you're
willing to listen, you can learn a lot from women about the
impact of rape and how to stop it.
Talk with men about how it feels
to be seen as a potential rapist; about the fact that 10-20%
of all males will be sexually abused in their lifetimes;
about whether they know someone who's been raped. Learn
about how sexual violence touches the lives of men and what
we can do to stop it.
Be aware of language.
very powerful, especially when spoken by people with power
over others. We live in a society in which words are often
used to put women down, where calling a girl or woman a
"bitch," "freak," "whore," or "baby" is common. Such
language sends a message that females are less than fully
human. When we see women as inferior, it becomes easier to
treat them with less respect, disregard their rights and
ignore their well-being.
Work to end other oppressions.
Rape feeds off many forms of prejudice - including racism,
homophobia and religious discrimination. By speaking out
against any beliefs and behaviors, including rape, that
promote one group of people as superior to another and deny
other groups their full humanity, you support everyone's
"What Men Can Do" handout created by Men Can Stop Rape -