Men Can Stop Violence

  • Statistics show that most men never commit an act of rape/sexual assault, but the overwhelming majority of rapists are in fact male. Men have an important role in violence prevention. Below is information on how men can be engaged in violence prevention.

    Rape as a Men’s Issue

    Why should men be engaged in violence prevention?

    • … because men rape. Although we know most men are not violence, we also know that men commit the great majority of all sexually violent crimes.
    • … because men are victims and survivors. According to RAINN, 1 in 6 men will experience sexual assault before they turn 18 and 1 in 33 men will experience rape in their lifetime. Men are not immune to the epidemic of sexual violence.
    • … because rape confines men. Knowing that men commit the great majority of all sexually violent crimes, it can be difficult for some to distinguish “safe guys” from men who are dangerous and therefore a “potential rapist.” The result is a society with its guard up. Relationships with men are approached with fear and mistrust. Intimacy is limited by the constant threat of violence.
    • … because men know survivors. At some point in every man’s life, someone close to him will likely disclose that they are a survivor of sexual violence. Men must be prepared to respond with sensitivity, compassion, and understanding. Ignorance on the part of men can only hinder the healing process and may even contribute to the survivor feeling more victimized. For more information on how to respond, read, “How to Help a Friend.
    • … because men can STOP rape. Rape is using sex as a weapon to gain power and control over another individual. For rape to stop, men must be empowered to make different choices. All men can play a vital role in this process by challenging rape culture and by raising awareness about the damaging impact of rape. 

    Every time a man’s voice joins those of women in speaking out against rape, the world becomes safer for us all. 

    Adapted from Men Can Stop Rape’s “Why Should Men Care About Rape?”

    What Men Can Do

    We know that most men do not commit sexual violence, but every guy can play a vital role in ending sexual and dating violence by:

    • Defining your own manhood. Consider how common messages like “don’t take no for an answer” play a role in creating unhealthy and unsafe relationships.
    • Understanding the female perspective. Ask a woman you know: how often and in what situations has she feared being sexually assaulted? How has this affected her daily life? Does she know someone who have been assaulted? How has it affected her? Listen and learn.
    • Getting a man’s perspective. Ask a friend: how would it feel to be viewed as a potential rapist? How would he react if a woman or girl in his life—his mother, sister, girlfriend, or friend—was sexually assaulted?
    • Taking note of pop culture’s messages. Daily, we’re surrounded by movies, TV shows, music, magazines, and video games that sometimes communicate harmful messages about masculinity and relationships. Ask how images in popular culture affect how you view yourself, other men, and women.
    • Supporting survivors of violence. Rape will not be taken seriously until everyone knows how common it is. 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. For more information on how to respond, read, “How to Help a Friend.”
    • Stepping up! Do you know that 74 percent of men report that they would intervene to stop a sexual assault from happening? (RAINN) The reality is that you probably will never see a rape in progress, but you will hear attitudes and see behaviors that degrade women and promote a culture of violence. When you hear someone saying or doing something that contributes to rape culture, step up and address the issue.
    • Getting involved! There are many ways IUP men can get involved in violence prevention. You can volunteer for the Haven Project or your local crisis center. You can also join clubs such as SAGE- Students Advocating Gender Equality or the Men’s Awareness Project. To learn more about these student organizations, view their page on Crimson Connect

    Adapted from Men Can Stop Rape’s “What Men Can Do.”