What Can Men Do?
Sexual assault is not just a women’s issue, it impacts both men and women. Both men and women are sexually assaulted. It is likely that you will know someone who is a survivor of sexual assault – a friend, family member, partner.
- Women often turn to male friends for support and understanding after an assault. Your support and understanding can help with their recovery.
- Although most survivors are female, approximately 5% of survivors are male. Men are assaulted by other men, and sometimes by women. It is important that male survivors seek services and talk with someone about what has happened. Free and confidential services are available.
- For positive change to occur, it is critical that men become involved as part of the solution, rather than continuing to be viewed as “the problem.” Men become a part of the solution by educating themselves on the issue, confronting negative behaviors of friends, and challenging behaviors and attitudes that may lead to sexual assault.
How to Be Part of the Solution
Incidents of sexual assault, especially acquaintance sexual assault, occur too frequently. This hurts all men and all potential relationships. For positive change to occur, it is critical that men become involved as part of the solution.
What can men do to become part of the solution?
- Approach sexual assault and interpersonal violence as a MEN’S issue.
- Make sure that the sex you are having is consensual. Do not accept the myth that "no" means "yes." Understand that submission is not consent. Do not make assumptions about consent, ASK for consent.
- Remember that if an individual is drunk or under the influence of a substance, they cannot legally consent to sex (they cannot make an informed, rational decision).
- Communicate clearly how you feel and what you want. Listen to your partner. Do not rely on body language.
- Do not make assumptions about consent based on style of dress, body language or previous sexual activity. ASK for consent.
- Understand, and help friends understand, that sexual assault is assault, and has little to do with sex.
- Do not remain silent, do not look the other way. Become an "active bystander" – confront friends who are becoming disrespectful or abusive. Intervene when a friend is making a decision that could have devastating consequences.
- Examine your attitudes about women and men that may perpetuate sexism and violence against others.
- Interrupt actions, comments or jokes that support sexual assault and other acts of violence.
- Understand and behave with the knowledge that there is no excuse for violence. The only person responsible for violence is the person committing the violence.
- Realize that becoming violent with your boyfriend or girlfriend, family, et.. when you're intoxicated is not an excuse for your behavior.
- SPEAK UP---Don't cover for a friend if they have done something wrong. It hurts all involved.