Friday, March 4, 2011

Men Can Stop Rape

STATISTICS:


1 in 6 women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime.


Every 2 minutes someone in the US is sexually assaulted.


60% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police.


Approximately 73% of rape victims know their assailants. 



"At an early age, boys are fitted with emotional straightjackets tailored by a restricted code of behavior that falsely defines masculinity. In the context of “stop crying,” “stop those emotions,” and “don’t be a sissy,” we define what it means to “Be a Man!” Adherence to this “boy code” leaves many men dissociated from their feelings and incapable of accessing, naming, sharing, or accepting many of their emotions. When men don’t understand their own emotions it becomes impossible to understand the feelings of another. This creates an “empathy-deficit disorder” that is foundational to America’s epidemic of bullying, dating abuse and gender violence. Boys are taught to be tough, independent, distrusting of other males, and at all cost to avoid anything considered feminine for fear of being associated with women. This leads many men to renounce their common humanity with women so as to experience an emotional disconnect from them. Women often become objects, used to either validate masculine insecurity or satisfy physical needs. When the validation and satisfaction ends, or is infused with anger, control or alcohol, gender violence is often the result. Violence against women is often thought of as a women’s issue; but it is a mistake to call men’s violence a women’s issue. Since men are overwhelmingly the perpetrators of this violence, this men’s issue calls to question the cultural values that produce men who hurt women. Sadly, Yeardley Love was only one of four women murdered by intimate partners that day. Who knows how many others were raped, battered, sexually abused, harassed or exploited by men that day and every day in America?"

This is an issue I feel very strongly about. We desperately need MEN to step up and make a difference to stop this horrific violence against women. Don't be apathetic! I can't remember any time that I've ever heard a guy talk about rape in any other manner than that of a joke. Rape is NOT a joke, it is a serious issue that women have to deal with on a daily basis. I live in a world where it isn't safe for me to go out alone at night, or even in the day in certain areas. I have resulted in carrying pepper spray in my purse because I know that if any man wanted to, he could take me despite my physical efforts against it. If you know me then you know that I am NOT the type of person to go down without a fight, but realistically I know that I wouldn't win that fight no matter how fiercely I fought.

 I once walked around downtown Portland at night with a guy friend and he had no real thoughts or qualms about whether it was "safe". I on the other hand, couldn't help but think that there was no way I would be able to do this by myself. If you ask me what one of my greatest fears is, I would honestly have to say that being raped is one of them. This fear isn't coming from out of nowhere, it is a FACT that rape happens all the time. I personally know people, friends, who have been raped. It is by the grace of God that I am not one of them. 

I urge you if you are a male, to stand up for your mothers, sisters, friends, even your future wives. Be a protector! Be the man that God created you to be and honor, respect, and cherish the women around you, and do all you can to make sure that they are never abused in such a way. It may not even be something big, it might just be resolving not to make jokes about being raped, or stopping a guy friend from pursing a girl when he is drunk. Make a difference! Please.



Go to http://www.mencanstoprape.org/ to learn more about how men can make a difference to stop rape.

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