The Be Project: Empowering Youth to be part of the solution to end relationship violence

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May 4, 2017


Dear Dudes - By: Matt Jacobs

Dear Dudes,


All month long, we celebrated, championed, advocated, and maybe even mourned all those impacted by sexual assault and those that work with survivors of sexual assault. We got the word out through old-school techniques like face to face meetings and more fresh ideas like spreading awareness through SnapChat or Instagram. I highly recommend checking out #SAAM2017, there’s some really cool stuff there!


But there is still one voice missing. It’s grown a lot since I got into the prevention game nearly 7 years ago. Some people may shun this voice, but I say “Hey! The more voices, the louder we can be!” -- and that is still men’s voices. Back in 2010, I remember, vividly, attending a conference about sexual assault and domestic violence. I attended a few of the sessions and surprisingly walked away feeling like “I’m nothing but the bad guy, I can’t possibly help.” And rightly so, I can understand the passion for this line of work and that passion may come off as bitterness or hostility towards certain individuals. But I can’t let that stop me. I not only wanted to help, but I also found that I needed to help this cause. But that was 2010…it’s 2017 and we’re starting to see a huge change in the voices that come out and support

 

But we still need more.


Every so often,  I still come into contact with different men and boys (…and even some women) who may scoff at the numbers or often try to refute it ("No, 1 in 5 Women Have Not Been Raped;"   “Feminist Myths Need to Go Away;”   “1 in 5 is No Where Close”). They have their reasoning and arguments but a wise woman once asked me, “do the numbers TRULY matter?” I thought about this for a good while. What if we made those numbers personable? Would they then matter more? What if bringing awareness helped just one…JUST ONE person…would it matter? We’ve become a divided culture…that’s for another time…but couldn’t we just agree that it does happen? Side note: it does. We can disagree all day about what the numbers are, heck even in this field I’ve heard different numbers myself…anywhere from 1-in-3  to 1-in-6.

 

But does the frequency really matter? We know it happens…

 

Even if it was just one person that was being hurt, shouldn’t we still want to help them?

 

I think so…I think that’s where we can begin to unite. I’m Matt, just a man trying to help, will you join me?
 

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