Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2012 was full of trainings, workshops, and community strength projects for Men Can Stop Rape and Men of Strength Clubs across the country. Here’s just a taste of all we were up to during April:
High school students at the Cesar Chavez Public Charter School for Public Policy - Capitol Hill have spent the last week participating in a Community Action Projection on Sexism, Gender and Sexism. Students have discussed concepts such as oppression and patriarchy to examine the role gender plays in their lives. They also discussed how certain constructions of masculinity and femininity perpetuate a rape culture in which victims are blamed for crimes committed against them. On the last day of this workshop, students worked with Jason Page, Men Can Stop Rape’s Director of Community Education, to examine their assumptions on how certain actions (such as street harassment) can contribute to gender-based oppression. The students now look forward to the second week of the workshop in June, in which they will take their learning and turn it into service and advocacy based projects that will transform the culture they live in.
American University MOST Club cosponsored a talk by former NFL player Don McPherson on the role language plays in constructing unhealthy masculinity. MOST Club members also took part in the annual Take Back the Night march.
At George Washington University, MOST Club cosponsored Take Back the Night Week which culminated in a Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event where men walked a mile in high heels to raise awareness about sexual assault. MOST Club also held a Where Do You Stand? Bystander Intervention Training where MOST Club members and Men Can Stop Rape staff discussed intervention techniques and the role bystander intervention takes in preventing violence against women.
At Georgetown University, MOST Club members helped table and raise awareness about sexual assault on Denim Day.
University of Hawaii-Hilo MOST Club held several events in April as part of their StandStrong initiative. For StandStrong, MOST Club is partnering with 40 local businesses to create the StandStrong discount card for anyone who attends MOST Club trainings and events. MOST Club held a poetry slam in April with proceeds going towards a local YWCA. They also held a bystander intervention training at the end of the month featuring renowned researcher Alan Berkowitz.
Men Can Stop Rape trainers and trainers from our Speaker’s Bureau went across the country from Maryland to El Paso, TX to share their expertise in engaging men to prevent violence against women. We also had trainings with police on three different campuses during the month of April, and we will continue our partnership with law enforcement across the country at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in May.