From College Sports Business News

Not that I want to spend my whole life on this subject but just latching on to any information that might help… Gathering ideas.
Pressure on colleges to deal with sexual assault leads to growing cottage industry @insidehighered

Source: insidehighered.com

A quick search for terms like “campus safety” and “sexual assault” on the Apple App Store reveals dozens of applications marketed toward worried college students. Circle of 6 allows users to send text message alerts, to six pre-selected friends. VizSafe lets users post and watch videos of areas they might feel are unsafe. OnWatch provides a suite of safety and reporting tools — for $19.99. And it’s not just mobile apps. From risk management firms to prevention programs to products like fingern…

More hope

Another great idea to prevent rape but I agree with the writer about changing the culture…
http://www.oxbowherald.sk.ca/Opinion/Columnists/2014-08-28/article-3850805/THATS-IT,-THATS-ALL%3A-We-need-to-change-the-rape-culture/1

Rape & Clothing

Do girls dress for rape? Fashion does not occur in a vacuum. What are the qualities are the focus of contemporary women’s clothing design? The question almost answers itself. Women’s fashion, consistent with the rest of popular culture, is hyper-sexualized. It’s designed to bring focus to the physical attributes of a woman that will be most alluring and seductive to men. Its implicit statement is that a woman’s power lies in her seductiveness.
This is not to say, of course, that women invite rape by wearing certain clothes, or that Continue reading

Hope

Thia morning I had a meeting with Center for Hope here in Lowell. On the desk was a flyer for “Circle of 6”, an app designed to prevent rape. Not 2 hours later I had an e-mail from Jerry Bisantz telling me to check out the Boston Globe. Here’s the article… another arrow in the quiver.
http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/08/26/colleges-enlist-smartphone-apps-help-combat-campus-sexual-assault/2wUPdW5W52gLqD1mUlky8I/story.html

Thoughts on prevention

As I rehearse, I find answers in the play. For example Bernadette O’Connell, the main character, is a very religious girl possessed of a healthy libido and an abstinence-only sex education.

“One: Necking, which is anything from the neck up, is not a sin… as long as you keep your mouth closed. Two: Petting is a mortal sin and will make you pregnant. And three: This is my tabernacle (indicating her crotch) and only my husband will have the key.”

So you have this distorted human being with all this sexual energy and no idea what to do about it, except repress it because she wouldn’t want to die and go to hell, and who has no idea about the truth or who to trust if not teachers or parents. If she knew anything at all about her sexual nature and that of boys/men, who do we think she would attract into her life?

I have a friend who teaches elementary school in Massachusetts who describes their way of dealing with bullying by teaching character building. Since the earliest grades she has spent 20 minutes at the start of every day on character building. While all bullies do not grow up to become rapists, I think all rapists are bullies. Would we all be better off by spending time building character with our kids teaching them respect, kindness, empathy, boundaries and the skills needed to navigate the changing social environment in their lives. Maybe include human sexuality as well as that of frogs in biology class. So that by the time girls are looking for love and boys are looking for sex they will have a foundation on which to make good healthy choices. It needn’t take up any more time – just replace all the bull shit with the truth.

Back in Rehearsal

In preparing to bring “Asking For It” to colleges in the fall, I’ve been re-visiting the piece and going deeper. The organizations that I’m aligning with are concerned with healing and prevention. I have seen the healing that takes place when I’ve performed the play and also from feedback on the book, so I’ve been looking at prevention. And this is where it gets more than tricky for me given that no one EVER asks to be raped. Continue reading

From July re George Will

After George Will’s heinous column in the Washington Post and other papers suggesting that rape victims on college campuses enjoy a privileged status, a friend asked my thoughts on the subject. I had read it but there’s so much hate-based stuff out there that I didn’t allow it to penetrate… Until he asked about my thoughts. It’s kind of new being asked about my thoughts so that woke me up… again. I signed the petition to the Washington Post that was circulated by Nita and Shauna, those wonderful activists at Ultraviolet and yesterday George Will’s column had been dropped by the St. Louis dispatch. The Chicago Tribune would not print it in the first place.

As the Dalai Lama said “the world will be changed by Western women.”

“Your thoughts?” This one inquiry triggered in me a deeper connection and sense of responsibility to the college audiences who will be experiencing “Asking For It” starting in Ohio in October in partnership with Cleveland Rape Crisis Center and in NYC in partnership with SAVI (Sexual Assault Violence Intervention program).

In the very beginning, as “Asking For It” was developing, Walter Willison who directed that version came backstage after a performance and told me that there was a man left in the house alone and shaken and told Walter that “this was his story.” Walter thought I should talk to him. My knee-jerk reaction was this: “I’m an actor, I’m a writer, I’m not a shrink.” But I did sit with the man for a while and I have continued to spend time afterwards as both the show and now the book and I have evolved.

Partnering with counseling centers, the brainchild of Actor/Producer Jeffrey Grover, offers a new opportunity for healing. Talkbacks following the performance, followed by a book signing in the theater lobby will open up possibilities of one-on-one communication and access to literature and concrete information, as well as personal contacts with actual counselors if needed.

Hopefully, the President’s task force is making progress with the colleges. As far as I can see it’s really challenging… The college sexual assault groups are not equipped to adjudicate a felony. They’re comprised of faculty administrators, some students and mostly all they can do is expel the rapist. They have the reputation of the school to protect and the civil rights of the accused understandably have to be honored. As far as law enforcement goes, there’s the challenge of needing a preponderance of evidence. They have to think about convincing a jury and a victim can be further traumatized by a less than an empathic assistant district attorney.

This makes the role of the rape counseling centers so incredibly important if one is to heal. To have someone to listen, to understand, to guide, to advise, to advocate. I also have gone back to One Spirit Interfaith Seminary to study InterSpiritual Counseling so I can be more present and skillful with whomever I serve.

I keep looking at prevention. I was thinking I want to move on from the subject of rape in my work and I do. But everything I write eventually brings me to question the roots of misogyny which seem to be the source of a whole lot of what ails us today. I think of all the millions of us who sat through religion classes or Sunday Mass hearing the myth of Adam and that harlot Eve causing the fall – separating man from his God – over and over letting it seep into our cell memory. The work we need to do in the midst of all the 21st century cruelty is on such a deep level but I think we have to go there.