Only men can stop rape

May is Sexual Assault Prevention Month. This year, Victoria Faulkner Women's Centre, along with a brilliant crew of women's groups, borrowed the slogan "Men Can Stop Rape."

May is Sexual Assault Prevention Month. This year, Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre, along with a brilliant crew of women’s groups, borrowed the slogan “Men Can Stop Rape.”

We held a panel, made up entirely of men, speaking to the ways they work to end sexual assault. Instead of our old, standard, women’s self-defence classes, we’re holding a sex-positive workshop on consent, safer sex and condom negotiation. We’ve published the controversial Top 10 Tips To End Rape posters and handbills.

The 10 Tips are things like “Don’t put drugs in women’s drinks” and “Carry a rape whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone ‘by accident,’ you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can call for help.” Finally it says, “Don’t rape.”

The 10 Tips have really stirred up some controversy. We’re not shy of controversy – it means people are communicating about the topic of rape – but there are some points we’d like to clarify.

Our intent is to replace this current rape culture – the one that communicates its complicity through its silence – with a culture in which men call out other men, with a culture that joyously celebrates consensual expressions of sexuality – in which there is no room for sexualized violence.

Women have been told for eons that stopping rape is up to us. We’re bombarded with tips for keeping ourselves safe. But the thing is this:

Women’s self-defence classes can’t stop rape.

Women dressing conservatively can’t stop rape.

Women arming themselves can’t stop rape.

Women staying indoors after dark can’t stop rape.

Women can protect themselves, and be afraid, dress conservatively, and stay indoors.

And we will still be raped.

And when we are, all these lessons communicate that somehow – that victim of rape is to blame for being assaulted. She has failed to protect herself.

When really, in order to stop rape: Rapists need to stop raping.

We need education around the definition of rape.

Young people need to systematically learn about communication and consent.

We all need to break the silence around sexualized assault and interrupt cycles of violence.

We need to recognize that rape is not incidental or uncontrollable, but a deliberate act.

We need to ensure that a woman’s dignity is respected when she reports rape – that she is heard, believed, understood and respected. The judicial system needs to believe women, to represent women victims of sexualized assault more effectively, and to treat us with dignity.

Police need to do the same. So do our friends. And our families and communities need to hear us, believe us, understand and respect us.

Because until men step up en masse – until the few men who do this work are joined by a majority of men – calling out rape jokes and sexism amongst their friends, actively working for equality, being consistently loving, respectful role models, and working alongside women’s groups – we will still be raped.

Men can stop rape. It’s time to step up and do it.

Julianna Scramstad

Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Maria Metzen off the start line of the Yukon Dog Mushers Association’s sled dog race on Jan. 9. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Mushers race in preparation for FirstMate Babe Southwick

The annual race is set for Feb. 12 and 13.

The Yukon government is making changes to the medical travel system, including doubling the per diem and making destinations for medical services more flexible. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Subsidy for medical travel doubled with more supports coming

The change was recommended in the Putting People First report endorsed by the government

Chloe Sergerie, who was fined $500 under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> on Jan. 12, says she made the safest choice available to her when she entered the territory. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Woman fined $500 under CEMA says she made ‘safest decision’ available

Filling out a declaration at the airport was contrary to self-isolation, says accused

The Yukon Department of Education building in Whitehorse on Dec. 22, 2020. Advocates are calling on the Department of Education to reverse their redefinition of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) that led to 138 students losing the program this year. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Advocates call redefinition of IEPs “hugely concerning,” call for reversal

At least 138 students were moved off the learning plans this year

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Yukoner Shirley Chua-Tan is taking on the role of vice-chair of the social inclusion working group with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ oversight panel and working groups for the autism assessment. (Submitted)
Canadian Academy of Health Sciences names Yukoner to panel

Shirley Chua-Tan is well-known for a number of roles she plays in… Continue reading

The Fish Lake area viewed from the top of Haeckel Hill on Sept. 11, 2018. The Yukon government and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced they are in the beginning stages of a local area planning process for the area. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Local area planning for Fish Lake announced

The Government of Yukon and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced in… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Fire damage, photographed on Jan. 11, to a downtown apartment building which occurred late in the evening on Jan. 8. Zander Firth, 20, from Inuvik, was charged with the arson and is facing several other charges following his Jan. 12 court appearance. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
More charges for arson suspect

The Inuvik man charged in relation to the fire at Ryder Apartments… Continue reading

The grace period for the new Yukon lobbyist registry has come to an end and those who seek to influence politicians will now need to report their efforts to a public database. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Grace period for new lobbyist registry ends

So far nine lobbyists have registered their activities with politicians in the territory

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21, 2020. Some Yukon tourism and culture non-profit organizations may be eligible to receive up to $20,000 to help recover from losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Details released on relief funding for tourism and culture non-profits

Some Yukon tourism and culture non-profit organizations may be eligible to receive… Continue reading

Most Read