Saturday, March 20, 2004

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Men Can Stop Rape

When I lived in Washington, DC I volunteered with a great organization called Men Can Stop Rape.  Men Can Stop Rape's acronym MCSR is pronounced like mixer.

Men Can Stop Rape does national outreach at universities on sexual assault awareness. They stress how men can work together to stop rape. MCSR also does education at high schools in the greater DC area.

Their focus is on fostering healthy attitudes towards sexuality among men. Their name says it all, men can stop rape. It does not matter what women in our society do, rape will never end unless men as a group can be convinced to stop committing rape. Of course, women tend to be very interested in this work, far more than the men. That's the problem.

I think rape is a serious problem in many sectors of our society. The rape scandal at the Air Force Academy recently is but one example of many military rape scandals. Anyone remember Tailhook?

Rape is also a significant problem on college campuses in this country.

The personal is political
My experience practicing law in Lawrence, Kansas left me with the distinct impression that rape was very rarely prosecuted in my community. Far too often, rapists got away with their crimes. And I know Kansas isn't the only place with problems prosecuting rape. I would like to improve this aspect of our society and the judicial system.

I try to encourage healthy attitudes towards women among the men in my life and I've spoken to groups several times on the importance of changing men's attitudes and stopping rape. Since April is Sexual Assault Awareness month, I thought I'd make my readers aware of Men Can Stop Rape's excellent poster series.

Posters and other resources
This is my favorite MCSR poster. This one is my wife's favorite poster. Aren't these posters great? You can order them here.

If you are interested in educating men in your community about the prevalence of sexual assault and the attitudes in our society that foster sexual assault, visit Men Can Stop Rape. They are great people who do fantastic work.

I participated in MCSR's Men of Strength campaign back in February 2001. I thought it was very well-designed and effective at reaching young men.

I'm not saying rape is only America's problem. Rape and trafficking in human beings is a problem around the world. But if we want a better society for ourselves and the women in our lives, we must try to change attitudes that encourage violence against women.

We should also try to change attitudes that encourage violence against men...but that's a topic for another post....

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