New program educates males on rape

Celina Hutchens

More than half of all rapes that occur are by friends of the victim. A new program at Kent State, however, is hoping to reach out and educate students on the importance of learning how to listen.

QUICK FACTS ON SEXUAL ASSAULT

• In an academic year, 3 percent of college women report surviving rape or attempted rape.

• In the year 2000, 246,000 women survived rape or sexual assault. This calculates to 28 women every hour.

• Between 62 and 84 percent of survivors knew the attacker, who was either a close friend or even a loved one.

• Of rape survivors, 42 percent told no one about the rape.

• False reports of rape are rare, occurring 8 percent of the time.

• After surviving a rape, most women go to a male friend for comfort.

Source: The Men’s Program, developed by John Foubert in 1993.

The National Organization of Men’s Outreach for Rape Education is an all-male sexual assault peer education group offered through the Office of Health Promotion at DeWeese Health Center.

John D. Foubert, assistant professor of higher education at the College of William and Mary, founded NO MORE in 1998 in hopes of helping men understand how to help women recover from rape. This program also helps men be less sexually coercive with women and helps to decrease rape myths.

Allison Bruce is a graduate assistant in the Office of Health Promotion and the adviser to the NO MORE program. She said the program is presented by four male students who would represent the One in Four Chapter at Kent State.

“The One in Four Chapter got its name from the statistic that one in four females survive rape by the age of 14,” she said.

The program is designed to give males an idea of what females go through after they have been raped or sexually assaulted. A video is shown at the start of the session of a male being raped, which helps in incorporating a different perspective of what a female might go through.

“The first time I watched the video, I was filled with many different emotions,” Bruce said. “I felt a really powerful desire to get the program up and running on campus.

“I was impressed at how realistic the video was and what a good job the video does of assimilating what a female experiences when she is raped,” she added.

After the video, there is an informational session about different types of rape that can occur, the importance of discussing the survivors’ safety needs and listening, believing and accepting what the survivor says about what happened.

The NO MORE program is designed to prove having an all-male program is the most effective way to teach men how to help a woman recover from rape. The material is presented to address men as potential helpers, not rapists.

Jeff Jones, senior health care administration major, is one of the four members who present the program to various organizations at Kent State.

“At first, I was very apprehensive to join this group, mainly because of the heavy subject content,” he said. “However, as I learned more about what the group does and what it stands for, I became much more comfortable with standing up in front of people and talking about this.”

The National Crime Victimization Survey said young females are more likely than any other group to be the victims of sexual assault and the least likely to report their victimization. It also stated every two and a half minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted, and 80 percent of rape victims are under the age of 30.

“Rape and sexual assault are two things that are very prevalent on most college campuses, and they are issues that need to be addressed,” Jones said.

Bruce said this program has been successful, and it is a powerful presentation to watch. People become more conscious of the language they use and say rape isn’t defined as male and female.

“It is peers talking to peers,” she said. “The goal is to target a different audience. There is always someone who could potentially be raped.”

The Office of Health Promotion is actively seeking new members for the program, and it is open to everyone on a volunteer basis. Candidates must complete 15 hours of training to be an official chapter member.

For more information on the NO MORE program, contact Allison Bruce at the Office of Health Promotion at [email protected] or by calling (330) 672-8267.

Contact medicine reporter Celina Hutchens at [email protected]