Feminists know, that at the end of the day, efforts to protect women from abuse ultimately lay in the hands of the men who choose to abuse, rape, assault or beat women. No amount of telling a woman to dress differently, avoid certain places or at certain times is going to prevent a woman from being the target of an abuser. Currently the stats stand at 1 in 3 American women experience some form of physical abuse in their lifetime and 1 in 4 experience rape.
More and more, the focus is turning away from women attempting to sheild themselves from the advances of or to avoid men who would exploit or abuse, as people realize that its not effective, its not realistic and its not fair to women. Instead campaigns are popping up targeting men which emphasize their responsibility to control their actions and behaviors and to be good examples for other men in their lives.
This post is a compilation of some of those media campaigns.
The following are from the organization Men Can Stop Rape (www.mencanstoprape.org).
Campaigns such as these can be talking points in conversations with young men in church settings, especially the Young Men of Strength campaign (YMOST). Materials such as these can supplement statements by church leaders denoucing abuse and violence towards women. Mormon specific materials would be an important addition, especially to combat cultural sayings such as Modest is Hottest or anonymous modesty letters.
Other organizations framing domestic violence, and sexual assault as men’s issues include: MenWorks, Inc., Men Stopping Violence, The Good Men Project, A Call to Men and The National Organization for Men Against Sexism. Earlier this month, a number of organizations came together to host the Healthy Masculinity Summit.
These efforts all share the goal of transforming rape culture in Western civilization. While targeting men directly through campaigns such as those highlighted here, many of these organizations also emphasize the importance of media literacy and call for media to reduce content that normalizing sexism, disrespect and violence against women.
Call to Action: Please share these campaigns and organizations with men that you know and start conversations with them about addressing the role that men have in stopping violence against women. If you are feeling especially creative, please design some Mormon directed PSAs for the men of the church and share them here.