Ed. note: This is the second post in a “Campus Spotlight” series that shares what extraordinary teens and young adults have been doing to help end dating violence across the country and highlight ways YOU can be a strong advocate. This series will feature some of the young people, schools, and organizations that have been working hard to spread awareness, provide resources, and prevent dating violence on their campuses and in their communities.
The advocacy organization Men Can Stop Rape addresses violence against women by promoting healthy, nonviolent masculinity and proactive solutions that engage men as allies and inspire them to feel motivated and capable of ending men’s violence against women.
In January 2012, Men Can Stop Rape launched the bystander intervention campaign “Where Do You Stand?” with the help of college and high school students from the Washington, D.C. area. Pat McGann, a Men Can Stop Rape advocate who was present at the launch, believes “there’s a clear, positive role for men to play in prevention that isn’t suggesting that they commit assault but does suggest they have a responsibility to friends and others to stand up to it.”
Members of campus Men of Strength Clubs from American University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, and Washington, D.C. area high schools attended the launch at Georgetown University, during which young men took part in training activities to equip themselves with the skills they need to intervene before sexual assault occurs. The program intends to educate high school and college men on ways to intervene in potentially violent situations through skits and group discussions.
Pat McGann and Daniel Rappaport, the Sexual Assault Prevention Coordinator for American University, were both encouraged by the group dynamic. Rappaport felt the launch was the most memorable event AU has done with “Men Can Stop Rape” because of the students’ “ability to engage with high school MOST clubs and take on leaderships roles.” According to Rappaport, the event really let the students “see that they have the ability to mentor young men and show their ability to make change for the future.”
American University’s Nate Bronstein took on a leadership role and opened the event, stating “We have this chance to find ways to make our campus safe, to find ways to create a culture of action and not just talk. Every campus needs to make this a priority and engage as many men as we can. As we stand so must others. And to this mission we will be unrelenting, unyielding to a culture of violence. We are not just men of families, or friends, or peace, we are men of strength.”
If you or your friends would like to get involved with Men Can Stop Rape, join a Men of Strength club at your school. Check here to see a list of participating schools. If your school doesn’t have a club yet, click here for more information on how to start one!
Grace O'Malley served as a 2012 summer intern in the Office of the Vice President.
More posts from the Campus Spotlight series: