Generally, when people talk about preventing rape, they are really referring to reducing risk. We’ve all heard the tips and seen the chain emails advising women about how to avoid getting assaulted, like don’t leave your drink unattended at the club and stay away from certain parts of town after dark because a serial rapist is on the loose. Any credible approach to rape prevention must address raising and developing boys and men into people who do not sexually victimize another human being.
Do you want to learn how to talk to men about ways to make sure women are safe? Do you want to raise your son to be the kind of person who would never force an unwanted sexual act on someone? Maybe you have some questions about whether or not your own attitudes or behaviors are harmful to women? Perhaps you want to live in a world where rape doesn’t happen? Have you ever wondered how you can get involved with the critical work of ending sexual assault and challenging the culture that permits it?
This Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we are giving props to Black men who have stepped up to do that work. Here are five organizations, led by African-American men, that are taking action to eliminate sexual violence:
“A Call To Men recognizes that the underlying causes of violence and discrimination against women are rooted in the ways women and girls have been traditionally viewed and treated in our society. We provide men and boys with tools, practical methods and strategies to understand this connection and how to positively address these social issues.”
“We believe that to end violence against women and girls, we must challenge and transform the conditions that allow it to occur. Thus, our approach is grounded in an ongoing commitment to addressing root causes and to confronting the way intimate violence both shapes, and is shaped by systemic violence and structural oppression.”
Man Up Campaign
“In order to break the cycle of trauma and misinformation unabated violence against women and girls bestows on individuals, families, communities and societies around the world, Man Up Campaign was created to give young people a voice in developing models of change that truly address this issue. Through the universal platforms of sport, music, technology and the arts, Man Up Campaign is partnering with young men and women around the world by providing innovative training, resources and support to youth informed initiatives.”
“Men Can Stop Rape takes a strength-based approach in encouraging boys and men to focus on creating and role modeling healthy, nonviolent forms masculinity, and to see gender equity and other social justice issues—specifically the prevention of men’s violence against girls and women—as a key element of our identity as men.”
“MSV works locally, nationally and internationally to dismantle belief systems, social structures and institutional practices that oppress women and children and dehumanize men themselves. We look to the violence against women’s movement to keep the reality of the problem and the vision of the solution before us… Social justice work in the areas of race, class, gender, age and sexual orientation are all critical to ending violence against women.”
The following organizations are not led by men of color, but are still quality resources for men who want to help end violence against women.
The MVP Program
The MVP Program’s list of additional organizations
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Special Guest Editor, 'Ending Rape 4Ever'