Due to recent events in the media I feel compelled to share a few thoughts about a point that continues to be overlooked due to partisan politics. I am not looking to be judge or jury, nor am I looking for comments about Kavenaugh vs Ford, rather I am hoping my singular point is thought provoking and enlightening.
I recently read online of an experiment where the instructor asked men to list their answers to the following question, "what do you do on a daily basis to prevent yourself from being sexual assaulted?"
Most men couldn't really think of answers or would try and find ways to turn the moment into a joke.
(My point) When women were asked these same questions their answers varied from:
- keep pepper spray, mace or other deterrent in purse
- keep keys in their hand as possible weapon
- don't jog or walk at night
- don't enter elevator alone with other men or man
- don't leave drinks unattended at table or bar
- always hold drink in front of themselves within easy view
- watch bartender or person actually pour drink
- park in well lit areas
- vary route to and from work and home
- don't park in parking garages
- be selective and conscience about clothing they wear
- don't use highway rest rooms
- don't wear earphones while jogging
- meet men or dates in public settings
- only have working lunches with men team members in public settings
- always look in the back seat or sides of the car before unlocking it
You can see where this list is going. I asked my 16 yr old son the same question and shared with him this list and talked to him about real concerns women have about being sexually assaulted or worse. We talked about how frequent this happens and how 1 in 3 woman will be victims of sexual assault or worse. We broke that number down to the girls he goes to school with and is friends with. Once he was able to put faces and names within his circle of girl friends I could see the reality hit him. These are people he cares about that 'could' be harmed.
At the same time we discussed how important it is for him to always put himself in situations where he could never be accused of something falsely for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We talked about double dating and having someone as a witness within line of sight when talking with girls alone or privately. We talked about how his actions as a teenager could stand as a testimony against him later in his life therefore he must become the "man he will always be..RIGHT NOW".
We also talked about how he needs to be aware of what is going on around him and not be a silent witness to sexual assault, sexual innuendo, teenage groping, etc...but how BOLD he needs to be to speak up and call it out when he sees it because many girls won't or don't voice how uncomfortable they are by this behavior from boyfriends or boys in general, especially in public.
Parents can help their children be more aware, more involved and help raise the bar for our youth. We can and should expect our roles as parents to play a more vital part in raising the next generation of leaders, business owners, doctors, lawyers, teachers, fire fighters, mothers, fathers, etc, ... who are taught proper principles, morals and respect for others.
Regardless of what is happening in the news- there are things I can and can't control. I can control what is taught in my home and share with those within my circle of influence.