STSM's blog

Sexual Violence Knows No Gender

“I should have been able to protect myself.” “What does this say about me as a man?” “How do I reach out for help?” - These are common thoughts and questions experienced by male survivors of sexual assault.

A More Effective Way of Teaching Men to End Violence

When I tell people I work to prevent rape and sexual abuse, one of the first responses is often to ask if I teach men not to rape. Sometimes, community members are surprised when I say that’s not quite what I do. “Men shouldn’t rape” is an absolutely true statement, but it’s not the only conversation that should be had in our community. Why? The reality is, 90 percent of men and 93 percent of women have never sexually assaulted anyone, and probably never will. Not raping others is something that comes naturally to the vast majority of our population.

Take A Stand Today

Power and control may be the base source of all conflict. When used in a positive way, power is emulated as leadership. Yet all around our community and nation we read of people seeking power in the worst way – by taking it from others. In third world countries the behavior of these actors, athletes, elected officials, and candidates for office would be considered a war crime. In America, the greatest country in the world, it’s business as usual.

Military Sexual Trauma

I can't truly compare myself to a military service member, as I haven't made those types of sacrifices on a daily basis. I haven't had to leave my family for extended periods of time, nor have I had to work in areas with a heightened risk for being attacked or killed. I haven't been exposed to hardships that service members face at any given moment. But as someone working on behalf of survivors of sexual trauma, I am committed to a mission to serve, just like our many heroes in uniform. 

The Importance Of Consent

Respecting that individuals have the right to make decisions about their bodies has been a short-lived notion, despite it being a pretty straightforward concept. Informed consent in regards to medical treatment and trials has only been around for about 100 years. The landmark case of Schloendorf v. Society of New York Hospital in 1917 determined that “[E]very human being of adult years and sound mind has a right to determine what shall be done with his own body…”. Let’s think about that for a minute.

When To Recognize an Uncomfortable Comment

Since becoming an advocate with STSM and seeing firsthand the obstacles and comments that survivors face, I am unable to stomach jokes about rape or consent. I become excited and sometimes even emotional about issues that are passionate to me. Often, this means that even little comments from other people have an extremely personal impact on me. Time and time again, we are told to ignore minor lewd or offensive comments, under the guise that it just “isn’t that big of a deal.” However, I can’t sit by and let it roll off my shoulders.

Courageous Conversations

Recently there has been much ado about the safety of America’s children, and while I would really love to be happy that we are finally bringing attention to the problems of child sexual abuse and sexual violence, I cannot help but be disheartened by the fact that, once again, we are not having the right conversation.

Changing the Culture of Prison Rape

“Rape Is Not Part of the Penalty”-Just Detention International

Care For Kids

“If we don’t teach our children healthy sexuality, someone will teach them unhealthy sexuality.”

In my role as Prevention Education Coordinator, I am constantly shocked at the amount of information that my students have been exposed to at such a young age. Anyone who watches television, listens to the radio, or even drives past billboards knows that our society is constantly becoming more sexualized. Our children are getting messages about sex every time they go online, listen to their favorite song, or watch their favorite show.

Protecting Your Children from Social Media

There is no denying it: Social Networking is here to stay. When MySpace and Facebook first arrived on the scene in the mid-2000’s people seemed to think that this was just another trend, but we have seen Social Networking dominate the internet since that time, and the growth doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. Websites and apps focused on Social Networking offer tremendous possibilities for those involved such as new relationships, more depth in existing relationships, and exposure to many people and ideas that may have never been encountered otherwise.

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