Violence against women is a major social issue that goes largely unreported. It takes several forms, including sexual assault and rape. Forcing someone to have sex against their will does not make the one who does it more of a man. It is a cowardly crime, plain and simple.
In Montgomery County, there has been an increase in the number of rapes reported to the police. During the first quarter of 2011, the Montgomery County Police Department had a 4.6% decrease in reported crimes overall, yet in that same period there was a 54.2% increase in reported rape. This is significant, but even more significant is the fact that most rapes and sexual assaults are not reported to the police!
THINGS MEN CAN DO TO STEP UP AND STOP RAPE:
- Speak Out - against demeaning and aggressive behavior against women. Don't laugh at jokes about violence against women. Speak out against images of women as dehumanized sex objects.
- Talk with People Close to You - start a dialogue about sexual violence or rape. Get different perceptions about this issue and truly listen to what they say on how you can prevent it, and accept that their feelings are real.
- Mentor and Teach Boys - what it means to be a responsible and moral man, who respects others.
MEN AS WELL AS WOMEN CAN BECOME VICTIMS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE!
WHAT TO DO IF YOU FIND YOURSELF CONFRONTED BY:
A person who threatens you or sends you unwanted material with sexual content
A person who will not leave you alone after you have repeatedly asked them to do so
A person who treats you or touches you in a manner that makes you feel uncomfortable
SPEAK UP! ASK FOR HELP. If you have been a victim, DO NOT KEEP SILENT! Let someone know - a person you trust, the police, or your local Rape Crisis Center.
If you are confronted by a sexually aggressive person who insists on having sex with you, whether or not they are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, use your best judgment to survive the situation. You are not at fault. Call the police if you can as quickly as possible. Your safety is the first priority. Call your Rape Crisis Program; we are here to help!
I STEPPED UP!
WHAT WILL YOU DO? ACT!