“What part of ‘No means No’ don’t you understand?” is a question to which some men have no answer.
In British Columbia 1,000 women are either physically or sexually assaulted weekly and only 10 per cent of incidents are actually reported. Over 60 per cent of British Columbians know at least one woman who has been sexually or physically assaulted.
In 2010 there were 582 known reports of missing or murdered Aboriginal women in Canada with British Columbia recording the highest…”Highway of Tears” www.missingnativewomen.org/bc.htm. This reflects a huge problem that requires a resurgence of social conscience.
“If a woman indicates she wants sex, and then changes her mind, I’m still going for it regardless,” is often the reply some men provide. They haven’t a clue as to the personal violation to which they are admitting or the criminal ramifications of their decision. Some men have no emotional connection to a woman/teen who is raped or the female violation experience. And many of these men have no interest or desire to learn.
“Don’t Be That Guy” is a law enforcement campaign aimed at males between the ages of 18 and 25 with the message that, “Sex without Consent is Sexual Assault”, for which the assailant will be prosecuted.
Although Rural Crime Watch (RCW) has no solid scientific data, our cursory research indicates that assault against women crosses all social, educational and age categories with alcohol and drugs often playing a key role in the crime.
That may be a “duh”, but the emphasis needs to be made that control of your environment decreases with alcohol/drug consumption.
Law enforcers are being pro-active and are concerned with the rising trend in sexual assaults, particularly during holidays. The campaign’s components include:
• Posters aimed to shift accountability to offenders and away from victims, and are designed to reach males with the message that ‘Sex without Consent is Sexual Assault’.
• The education of tavern/pub staff to increase their awareness and to help them identify those who are vulnerable due to the consumption of alcohol and/or drugs.
• Law enforcers targeting predatory males who prey on vulnerable women.
• Educating women of all ages, whether they party in bars or privately, to limit their consumption, not to assume that knowing all those present ensures their safety and to understand the date rape drug GHB-Gamma hydroxybutyrate and its ramifications (the details of which are available on our RCW website under Bulletins.)
RCW expresses its appreciation to the Sexual Assault Voices of Edmonton Committee for the use of their public awareness posters we’ve posted on our web site www.ruralcrimewatch.com
Rape survivors experience a devastating emotional and physical recuperation which can last years and require considerable counseling.
RCW believes violent males are violent males and won’t change their behavior because of this campaign; but this proactive approach will illuminate the issue to law-abiding citizens who can be part of the solution of assault prevention and the prosecution of offenders.
This is not to say all men, or even many men commit such acts, but the mere fact that law enforcers are raising concerns should be an illumination for everyone. Passive resistance and attempts at behaviour change with media coverage won’t cut it, women need to be proactive, aggressive and carry a big stick.
RCW welcomes your input at www.ruralcrimewatch.com and on Facebook.
“If you see something, say something… to the Police and Rural Crime Watch.”
* By Jonathan McCormick and Denny Fahrentholz