|Men Can Stop Rape Launches Where Do You Stand? Campaign|
PRESS CONTACT: Amy Terpeluk
COLLEGE MEN LAUNCH WHERE DO YOU STAND?, A NEW NATIONAL INTERVENTION PROGRAM TO STOP SEXUAL ASSAULT ON CAMPUSES
Leading men’s prevention organization, Men Can Stop Rape, collaborates with American Association of University Women to increase the number of men on campus who intervene to prevent dating violence and sexual assault
WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 31, 2012 – Today, Men Can Stop Rape, a leading national organization mobilizing boys and young men to prevent violence against women, is launching a new nationwide intervention movement to empower college men to speak up and prevent violence on campus.
This new push to build safer college campuses is a direct result of the many recent incidents of rape, sexual assault and dating violence that have occurred on campuses. Sixty two percent of undergraduate students say they have encountered some type of sexual harassment (1), and a recent survey shows that nearly half (43 percent) of all dating college women report having ever experienced violent or abusive dating behaviors (2).
Men Can Stop Rape is taking an entirely new approach to preventing these incidents. For the first time, they are focusing on male bystanders who witness potentially violent situations and teaching them how to step in before situations escalate into actual physical or sexual violence.
This initiative involves several elements including the launch of an innovative public awareness campaign called Where Do You Stand?. This campaign uses a variety of media materials including billboards, posters and t-shirts, displaying provocative visuals and messages that illustrate how easy it can be for men to speak up and prevent violence. Where Do You Stand? also uses bystander intervention trainings and peer-education sessions that equip them with the necessary skills and tools to intervene.
“Where Do You Stand? continues Men Can Stop Rape’s commitment to primary prevention by creating everyday solutions to prevent men’s violence against women and girls,” said Men Can Stop Rape Executive Director, Neil Irvin. “This campaign builds on young men’s ability, desire, and commitment to being strong without being violent. We look forward to using Where Do You Stand? to deepen existing relationships and build new partnerships with college campuses across the country.”
The collaboration with the American Association of University Women’s 100,000 members nationwide, illustrates the spirit of teamwork that Men Can Stop Rape aims to incorporate onto every campus where this new campaign will take root. Men Can Stop Rape hopes to continue to build these powerful collaborations with women’s groups to help support existing rape and violence prevention programs on campuses and to increase these groups’ resources by bringing men and women together around these important issues.
“It’s crucial that both women and men address sexual harassment and violence on campus. This is not just a women’s issue,” said AAUW Program Manager, Holly Kearl. “By joining forces, we can work together to challenge the culture that fosters those dangerous behaviors, involve more men and give all students nationwide the tools they need to be part of the solution.”
The initiative will also seek to increase the presence of Men Can Stop Rape student leaders on college campuses by building more student-led chapters of their Campus Men Of Strength (MOST) Clubs. MOST Club members serve as activists for violence prevention on campus. They facilitate trainings, plan events and partner with other community and campus organizations to educate men about stereotypes that perpetuate violence, different ways to approach potentially dangerous situations and how to overcome men’s reluctance to confront their peers when they see unhealthy interactions they suspect could become dangerous.
Today, college men from Georgetown, American University and George Washington University, along with area high school students, will come together at Georgetown with collaborators from the American Association of University Women (AAUW), and the School and College Organization of Prevention Educators (SCOPE, www.wearescope.org) to launch this new violence intervention movement at a meeting of Men Can Stop Rape student leaders.
“Intervening in the presence of disrespect toward a woman can be easier said than done,” said Matt Scott, sophomore at George Washington University and Campus MOST Club member. “Everybody faces challenges in life where women, and men for that matter, are being degraded in front of them. It is tough to know how to handle it but Men Can Stop Rape makes it easier for men to challenge stereotypes and take a stand.”
Universities across the country have already requested the new Where Do You Stand? intervention materials and programs and are highly anticipating the opportunity to introduce this national campus movement to their students. Additionally, partners from the District of Columbia Office of Victim Services have joined with Men Can Stop Rape with the goal of distributing Where Do You Stand? materials to campuses city wide. The college men leading this movement are working to ensure every campus has violence and sexual assault prevention and intervention programs in place.
The Where Do You Stand? materials, trainings and programs and the Campus MOST Club programming are available to be activated on campuses nationwide. For more information about Men Can Stop Rape, visit www.mencanstoprape.org.
About Where Do You Stand?
1 Harris Interactive® online survey conducted on behalf of the AAUW Educational Foundation, 2005