Ten things men can do to prevent gender violence

Ten things men can do to prevent gender violence
By Jackson Katz. www.jacksonkatz.com

1. Approach gender violence as a MEN’S issue involving men of all ages and socioeconomic, racial and ethnic backgrounds. View men not only as perpetrators or possible offenders, but as empowered bystanders who can confront abusive peers.

2. If a brother, friend, classmate, or teammate is abusing his female partner — or is disrespectful or abusive to girls and women in general — don’t look the other way. If you feel comfortable doing so, try to talk to him about it. Urge him to seek help. Or if you don’t know what to do, consult a friend, a parent, a professor, or a counselor. DON’T REMAIN SILENT.

3. Have the courage to look inward. Question your own attitudes. Don’t be defensive when something you do or say ends up hurting someone else. Try hard to understand how your own attitudes and actions might inadvertently perpetuate sexism and violence, and work toward changing them.

4. If you suspect that a woman close to you is being abused or has been sexually assaulted, gently ask if you can help.

5. If you are emotionally, psychologically, physically, or sexually abusive to women, or have been in the past, seek professional help NOW.

6. Be an ally to women who are working to end all forms of gender violence. Support the work of campus-based women’s centers. Attend “Take Back the Night” rallies and other public events. Raise money for community-based rape crisis centers and battered women’s shelters. If you belong to a team or fraternity, or another student group, organize a fundraiser.

7. Recognize and speak out against homophobia and gay-bashing. Discrimination and violence against lesbians and gays are wrong in and of themselves. This abuse also has direct links to sexism (eg. the sexual orientation of men who speak out against sexism is often questioned, a conscious or unconscious strategy intended to silence them. This is a key reason few men do so).

8. Attend programs, take courses, watch films, and read articles and books about multicultural masculinities, gender inequality, and the root causes of gender violence. Educate yourself and others about how larger social forces affect the conflicts between individual men and women.

9. Don’t fund sexism. Refuse to purchase any magazine, rent any video, subscribe to any Web site, or buy any music that portrays girls or women in a sexually degrading or abusive manner. Protest sexism in the media.

10. Mentor and teach young boys about how to be men in ways that don’t involve degrading or abusing girls and women. Volunteer to work with gender violence prevention programs, including anti-sexist men’s programs. Lead by example.

Copyright 1999, Jackson Katz. www.jacksonkatz.com

The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey

The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS)

On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States, based on a survey conducted in 2010. Over the course of a year, that equals more than 12 million women and men. Those numbers only tell part of the story — more than 1 million women are raped in a year and over 6 million women and men are victims of stalking in a year. These findings emphasize that sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence are important and widespread public health problems in the United States.

On this website you will find the full report, executive summary, and toolkit in English and Spanish.

Nearly 1 in 5 women in U.S. survey say they have been sexually assaulted

New York Times story on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Study
Published: December 14, 2011

Nearly one in five women surveyed said they had been raped or had experienced an attempted rape at some point, and one in four reported having been beaten by an intimate partner. One in six women have been stalked, according to the report.

. . . .The study, called the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, was begun in 2010 with the support of the National Institute of Justice and the Department of Defense. The study, a continuing telephone survey of a nationally representative sample of 16,507 adults, defines intimate partner and sexual violence broadly.

The surveyors elicited information on types of aggression not previously studied in national surveys, including sexual violence other than rape, psychological aggression, coercion and control of reproductive and sexual health.

They also gathered information about the physical and mental health of violence survivors.

Sexual violence affects women disproportionately, the researchers found. One-third of women said they had been victims of a rape, beating or stalking, or a combination of assaults.

Read the complete story in the New York Times

More information The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey

Not my coach. Not my town.

Source: Dec. 26 issue of ESPN The Magazine.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthday. That’s potentially five girls on every 20-member soccer squad, two boys on every 12-player basketball team.

THE CONVERSATION WASN’T EASY, fun or something that Steve Rockrohr had been particularly looking forward to. But he felt as if he had no choice. Rumors of a mysterious van in his neighborhood, on top of the horrific stories in the news, prompted him and his wife, Mary, to take action. So one night last month, a few days after Jerry Sandusky, Mike McQueary and The Second Mile became household names, the suburban Chicago father introduced his 7- and 9-year-old sons, both athletes, to a topic that makes every parent cringe: sexual abuse.

Right there at the family dinner table, Rockrohr and his wife, a teacher, talked about good touch and bad touch. They insisted that if anyone ever made the kids feel uncomfortable, they should tell Mom and Dad. Immediately. And they let it be known that Mom and Dad could always be trusted. No matter what it might be, no matter what anyone else might say, Mom and Dad will always be here for you. Forever.

The boys quietly listened as the words spilled into the room. When it was all over, the 7-year-old affirmed that yes, he understood. Now could he go play with his LEGOs? The 9-year-old processed things a bit deeper and asked a few questions: Why was this so important now? What happened? Am I not safe? “You could just sense this loss of innocence,” says Rockrohr, the athletic director at Glenbrook South High School in Glenview, Ill. “I felt like I had just told my kids there was no Santa Claus.”

It was an uncomfortable chat that others across the country have surely replicated at dinner tables, in bedrooms and on car rides during the past month and a half. But for others, the topic is too sensitive. The culture of normalcy is powerful. Addressing a run-of-the-mill societal problem like poverty is hard enough; turn to a taboo topic like sexual abuse and the discussion becomes nearly impossible.

Every day that passes, the urgency of what allegedly happened at Penn State and Syracuse undoubtedly lessens. It’s human nature: The more distant an uncomfortable situation becomes, the less we want to talk about it. So parents, coaches and administrators will do what comes naturally — exercise denial. Not my coach. Not my kid. Not my town. Yet one can’t help wondering: What if they’re wrong?

Read the complete article

Penn State – The Mother of All Teachable Moments for the Bystander Approach

http://www.nsvrc.org/news/Jackson-Katz-Series_Penn-State-Teachable-moment

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) presents this three-part series on bystander intervention in support of and focus on this approach to sexual violence prevention. Read about more resources on engaging bystanders in sexual violence prevention.

For those of us who have been advocating a bystander-focused approach to the prevention of sexual violence, the scandal rocking State College, Pennsylvania, might be the mother of all teachable moments. If what is being alleged is true, then all the necessary elements are present:

•Incidents of sexual abuse witnessed by people in a position to intervene who did not;
•Pressures on people (men) in various peer cultures to remain silent
•The failure of institutional leaders to act, resulting in disastrous consequences; and
•All of this taking place in one of the bastions of male power and privilege – the Penn State University football program, presided over for 46 years by one of the iconic patriarchs in American sports culture.

Complete article