It's amazing how many people will watch a cute kitten or puppy video you post on social media, but try to post a short video on sexual violence and everyone shies away from it.
Public Service Announcement in Ontario, Canada
Recently this ONE MINUTE video popped up on my Twitter feed and I re-tweeted it and shared it on Facebook - THREE SEPARATE TIMES. A total of five people bothered to look at it despite the fact that I prefaced it with statements encouraging PARENTS to please watch it and discuss the content with their sons and daughters.
Boys need to know that doing nothing makes them an accomplice to such acts.
I guess I am frustrated because I am tired of these types of behaviors not only going unpunished, but actually being celebrated. Regardless of advances in women's rights, the topic of sexual assault still goes largely unrecognized by society. The attitudes of not wanting to get involved, boys will be boys, or, worse yet, she deserved it are archaic to say the least.
I don't care how she posed on her Instagram, that was not consent to touch her!
As a mother of two boys, it is obviously my responsibility to teach them to respect women - not an easy task in light of the media messages that surround them. Yet just as important, it is my job to teach them that ignoring such behavior by others is just as unacceptable if not criminal. Of course, parents want their children to do the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing. But, honestly, I am not afraid to pull the JAIL card on my sons if it means getting the message across.
So, please, parents, take a minute and watch this video and discuss its message with your children. Middle and high school students should watch it for themselves before you discuss it. Sexually active boys need to understand all the legal implications involved in engaging in sex without consent. Play it safe, if she is drunk or high she is unable to give legal consent - even if she is your girlfriend and the two of you have engaged in sexual relations in the past!
Know the legal age of consent in your area.
Unfortunately, even with consent there are laws your sons and daughters need to be aware of. I saw countless cases come across my desk when I worked for the prosecutor's office of young men being unjustly charged with raping their girlfriends because her parents didn't like him. Educate your children.
The message in the video says it all. "When you do nothing, you're helping him. But when you do something, you help her." Be a hero! DO SOMETHING.
For more information visit Ontario.ca/WhoWillYouHelp.