Next week marks the 4th annual Walk A Mile in Her Shoes at Ohio University. Men literally wear any variation of a women’s shoe—high-heels, flats, slippers–and walk around Athens, promoting the idea that men can be a part of the solution to sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. However, it goes beyond just a snapshot of a walk on a Saturday in fall as men are affected by gender-based violence. It is our girlfriends, sisters, cousins, and best girl pals that face this reality on a daily basis. Over 150 men participated in the Walk last year and we look to increase that number this year. Women can attend too! We can use the support while we walk.
The Men Can Stop Rape Bystander Intervention program will be taking place on Thursday, September 29th from 7-9 PM in Bentley 140. Alex Leslie of the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center will train students how to be effective bystanders and to be willing to step into situations that can be perceived as harmful. In a 2011 College Dating Violence and Abuse report, 58% of participants reported of not knowing how to help someone who is experiencing dating abuse. Also, half of college students have a friend who has experienced violent and abusive dating behaviors. This program will elaborate on strategies that can be used to be an active bystander.
I think it is important for the men on campus to take an initiative and refuse to accept that gender-based violence should be tolerated. I also think it is important to get as many of the underclassmen to get involved. Thinking back to how naïve I was as a freshman with no clue of the vast regularity of violence to where I am now, a senior Peer Advocate for OUSAP, I really wish I had learned about these issues years ago.
I look forward to seeing as many people attend these two events as possible! Please contact Thomas Raabe at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
-Anthony Hess, Senior Peer Advocate for SAP