Men Can Stop Rape
It is a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC that was started in 1997, with its founders establishing the mission of mobilizing men, so that they can use their strength to create a culture free from violence, especially that against women. The organization aims to take up sustained initiatives as a means of primary prevention of violence against women, inflicted by men. As we know, it is an epidemic that has taken its toll across different parts of the globe. Majorly, such catastrophes are dealt with, by focussing on risk-reduction and self-defense tactics by the women community. However, this organization works with the goal of promoting healthy, nonviolent masculinity, such that men can themselves engage as allies, deterring harm away from women.
It has now been working for more than a decade, mobilizing male youth, infusing into them the positive implication of manhood, encouraging them to take up personal responsibility and to work in a healthy partnership with their female peers, etc. The young men thus gradually imbibe and comprehend how stereotypical notions of race, gender, sexual orientation etc. can distort mindsets, and how the world now needs a broadened and equitable concept of masculinity. This will not only benefit women but also improve their own lives in a large way. The MOST (Men Of STrength) Club mentoring program for young men dates back to 2000 and has grown from one site in Washington, DC to more than 100 locations, ranging from New York City to North Carolina, to Florida, to Missouri, Kansas, California etc., thus spreading over ten states. It was named one of the most promising “50 Strategies to Prevent Violent Domestic Crime” by the National Crime Prevention Council.
The club works in colleges and universities, thus reaching out on an individual level, and developing healthier masculinity. It has implemented several projects, campaigns and other initiatives to redefine age-old norms. They provide training, tools and organizational assistance to not only make the campuses free from violence against women, but also awaken the community at large. They also resort to social marketing tools to emanate awareness, having their materials published in US’ major publications and magazines. They also distribute their materials across all 50 states and 20 foreign countries.
The society, by and large, holds the belief that the burden of preventing rape, domestic violence, sexual assault etc. lie on the shoulders of girls and women. Men Can Stop Rape organization, believes in shifting the onus onto men by making them recognize the unhealthy aspects of masculinity, nurturing the sense of empathy within them, and encouraging them to learn skills that will be in favour of gender equity, thus constructively challenging and discarding negative masculine attitudes. Consequently, men can also be viewed as potential allies rather than only potential perpetrators.
Indeed, it is with the expansion of such organizations that the world can turn into a safer and better place for women. We have to engage both men and women alike to lay the stepping stone of a culture that is free from biases and discrimination.