Troubling statistics from the Center for Disease Control found that nearly one in five women have been raped or have experienced an attempted rape, one in six women have been stalked and one in four have reported being beaten by their intimate partner. What’s interesting is that a lot of these sexual assaults are occurring before the age of 18 and result in physical and mental health issues. In a time where there are so many ways to speak up, are we shocked by the high numbers? What are we doing wrong when it comes to ending violence against women and girls? We focus on teaching women to avoid rapists and abusers outside the home, but are we teaching them about close family members or friends who may cause the same threat in the home?

Note: The original post raised the question about how we can teach men and boys NOT to be abusers/rapists, but your revision removed that and added second question about teaching women/girls how to avoid being assaulted. We want to be careful to steer clear from victim blaming or putting the onus of staying safe on females. Rape and violence are not gendered problems and we should be more critical of those who commit the crimes than we are of those who are victims, right? Traditional news coverage (and schools and police precincts and even conventional “wisdom”) says “hey, women, here’s how to be safe!” We can distinguish ourselves as a more progressive, thoughtful voice by saying “Hey, men? Don’t be rapists and abusers”. While this is not an explicitly feminist website, the editorial voice is pro-woman.

The Center for Disease Control has released some troubling new statistics about assault and abuse against women and girls: approximately one in five women have been raped or have experienced an attempted rape, one in six women have been stalked and one in four have reported being beaten by their intimate partner. Many of these sexual assaults are occurring before the age of 18 and result in physical and mental health issues. Are we shocked by the high numbers? What are we doing wrong when it comes to ending violence against women and girls? We focus on rapists and abusers outside the home, but are we protecting ourselves from them family members or friends who may cause the same threat? And while we spend a lot of time talking about ways that women and girls can stay safe, are we training our men and boys NOT to rape and abuse?

Read it at Campus Progress.