ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: violence

Young boys saying “no” doesn’t end domestic violence

An Italian viral video entitled “From a Slap” has been continuously showing up on my newsfeed this week with comments like “This gives me faith in humanity!” and “This is the cutest thing!” I wish I could say I agree, but I can’t. If you aren’t familiar with the video I’m referring to “Dalle uno Schiaffo” which roughly translates to “From a Slap” is the work of Italian news website Fanpage.it  and creator Luca Iavarone. The video, shot in a participatory documentary style, focuses on five young boys between the ages of 7 and 11 and their interactions with a young girl named Martina. The film begins with an off-screen voice asking the boys their names, ages and what they want to be when they grow up, but once Martina… Read more »

Police Violence Against Women, Girls, Queer People of Color

During this outpouring of demonstration and activism against the racist American system that does not indict killer cops, and media release of accounts of police brutality, let’s not forget that black girls and women are also murdered by the police. In the recent weeks we have seen many stories that highlight injustices of police brutality, and many of these have prominently featured the killing of black men. It is important to think about how the deaths of unarmed, innocent people at the hands of the police are not isolated incidents. Black men are uniquely impacted by this violence, but the brutality is also not just against men. Children, women, and queer folk of color are also facing death and abuse by the system. Perhaps, it is simpler for the media to… Read more »

Should athletes be role models?

Throughout the years, we’ve had a lot of conversations centered around whether professional athletes should be considered role models. From Charles Barkley famously saying, “I am not a role model” to many examples of athletes being involved in criminal activity, there is a clear argument for moving to separate athletes from the idea of being a role model. But, many argue that the discussion is much more complicated than that. Athletes, they say, are going to be viewed as role models whether or not they choose to act like one, simply by virtue of their celebrity status. There are plenty of examples for why professional athletes make terrible role models. Criminal behavior ranges from DUI’s and speeding tickets to murder, rape, and domestic violence. Integrity is questioned when players test… Read more »

Protect This House: Women Deserve Safe Campuses

Just in time for a return back to campus, the past two weeks has featured a number of headlines about sexual violence against women: a nail polish that detects one of the most common date rape drugs, the calculated hacking and release of dozens of celebrities’ nude photos from their iCloud accounts, a student at Columbia University who is protesting the school’s lack of justice about her rape by carrying around a mattress, and another university that deemed community service too harsh a punishment for a man who raped another student. Regardless of whether she is a senior who has spent the past three years on campus learning to avoid fraternity houses after dark or a freshman joking with her new classmates that her dad bought her a pink can… Read more »

What’s right and mostly wrong with “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.”

A little over a week ago, the annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event was put on by the Interfraternity Council (IFC) at Wichita State University. If you’re not familiar with these events, you can read about them here. This year marked the fourth consecutive year I’ve attended this event. The past three years I was a participant in the walk, with considerable support from friends and my wife. Each year I noticed more and more problems with this event in general, as I became more aware and as I engaged in discussions about the event with people much smarter than me. This year I decided to take on a different role. Our student-led URGE group likes to have a table there, to offer resources and information to those… Read more »

Dating Violence, LGBTQ Youth, & Reproductive Justice

Responding to dating violence among LGBTQ youth should be a reproductive justice priority. Not only do LGBTQ young people experience higher rates of relationship violence than their peers, they also face unique obstacles in trying to get help. These realities put young people’s sexual and reproductive health at risk. In standing up for youth health and rights, we need demand prevention efforts—including comprehensive sex education—that are LGBTQ-inclusive, respect young people’s relationships, and empower them with the information they need to make healthy and responsible decisions.

The Battle for Consent Culture is Not Over

This article was also published in the Claremont Port Side I have had the honor to write quite a bit about sexual assault and consent during my year as a Choice USA blogger.  I am, unfortunately, quite invested in the issue.  Not only have I had experiences with assault and harassment, I have watched many of my friends and classmates suffer from the effects of assault as well. Chances are, since one in four college-aged women are assaulted, you probably have too.  At the very least, we all, knowingly or unknowingly, know at least one person who has been assaulted.  The implication of this is somewhat frightening. The prevalence of sexual assault implies that we all, knowingly or unknowingly, know at least one person who has assaulted someone else. Think about it.  Assault is… Read more »

What Fighting Sexual Assault Looks Like on My Campus

It’s no surprise to anyone even halfway paying attention to the news as of late that campus sexual assault is a buzzy topic right now. From the release of 55 universities under investigation by the federal government, to the viral picture of an alumni refusing to donate until their alma mater addresses sexual assault, to college students posting a rapist list of students who were found guilty yet never charged—sexual assault on campuses is causing a huge national discussion. Much of this media attention is credited to the White House itself assembling a task force on sexual assault. In April, the White House released a report on how campuses can combat sexual assault. These guidelines, and the task force recommendations (as well as the reason the White House even assembled… Read more »

Campus Safety “Tips”: Outdated, Out of Touch, and Dangerous

Looking at the typical “Campus Safety Tips” is an adventure through every rape myth imaginable.  Not only do these tips reinforce outdated thoughts about sexual assault, they ignore the one fact that cannot be repeated enough. Most victims of sexual assault know the perpetrator, whether it be a friend or an acquaintance.  The mythical man in the bushes outside your window or the creepy man in the alley are the least of most victims’ worries. It is the people whom you know and let your guard down around who are the most likely to violate your trust. Somehow, many universities fail to acknowledge this risk and treat sexual assault no different than being mugged. With that in mind, I looked at campus safety tips from colleges and universities from around… Read more »

Sexual Violence: Men Breaking the Silence

Jackson Katz in his TED talk about violence against women explains that the problem of discussing sexual violence is that it’s often framed as a “women’s issue that some good men help out with.” Granted, everyone is probably a little hesitant to have a man talk about sexual violence fearing that men often derail the discussion to focus on themselves. Well, I think discussing men’s role in sexual violence is a crucial conversation that needs to be had. More often than not, dominant groups with privilege fail to examine their power and privilege. Though a harsh reality, white adult males often have their voices heard over women talking about the same issue. Using their positions of power to create an open dialogue is important when men are the main perpetrators… Read more »