There is a new drive to educate men about violence against women. There are ‘dot-orgs’ popping up with names like mavaw.org (men against violence against women), menstoppingviolence.org, menagainstrape.org, etc.
These are all tools for us, as a society, to begin educating men and young male adults about their role and responsibility in the violence that is globally perpetuated against women. In California, at UC Santa Barbara, Men Against Rape held an event designed to create awareness in college-aged boys about their role, control and accountability for sexual assault against women. Apparently one out of 3 college age women is sexually assaulted during their college years. Wow!
One of the True/False questions young men had to answer was whether their “penis is an instrument of power?” Therein lies the problem. Around this globe men use sexual assault as a mechanism to hold or wield power over women. Whether its civilized men in the developed world, intellectually curious men in the halls of universities, age-old men in the third world who know no other way, or men conducting wars for some un-proven cause that may or may not be worth the sulfur the expend to execute it; men use assault against women as a tool of power.
So the campaign to educate must be two-pronged. On the one hand we have to work toward the global education of women and girls so they can be economically self-sustaining as well as socially aware of better options. On the other hand we must latch onto this infant campaign to educate young and adult men to understand that violence against women is not a “women’s issue”. It is perpetrated by men and is thus a “men’s issue”. Men can control violence against women in large part. They must be educated to exert that control.
The U.S. Bureau of Justice estimates that nearly three of every four victims of family violence are women. An estimated 1.5 million women are raped and/or physically assaulted by an intimate partner each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than half of all rapes of females happen before the age of 18, and 22 percent of those happen before the age of 12. This is only in the US. Global staistics are more apalling.
Women can’t fight the battle against violence alone. Until we can get the men on board, we will forever be saving little girls from brothels and placing women into rescue shelters.
click onto some of these sites and check out the new scene… and pass the word to all your friends, even the men.
mavaw.org, menstoppingviolence.org, mencanstoprape.org, menagainstsexualviolence.org)
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Maryam Shargh-Zar, JD. Founder, Womenfound, Inc. www.womenfound.org