Thursday, September 1, 2011

Why Should MEN Care About the RED ZONE?

For a lot of guys, but mostly football fans, any reference to the “red zone” has an automatic association with the area between the 20 yard line and the goal of the defensive team (try it- just ask any guy what the red zone is and they’ll probably reference football).  But to those in tune with campus safety issues, the term Red Zone may prompt them to refer to the first 6-8 weeks of school when campus sexual assault incidents are at their highest, especially for new students.

Just a few weeks ago, a local celebrity came to speak to the Resident Assistant (RA) staff about her college experience and shared a story that was not only unexpected, but ended with a room of 100 student leaders teary eyed and in a state of shock. I asked her to speak about motivation and the importance of the RA job, which she did, but I wasn’t expecting her to do it in such a way that would stop me in my tracks as I hustled to prepare for the next portion of the program. Her story was one of a horrible case of sexual assault in which a group of athletes targeted her and put a drug in her drink while she was at a campus party. From there she couldn’t remember much, except that the next day she woke up in their residence hall and realized that she had been sexually assaulted. Now before you read any further, let me say that this is not a story to demonize athletes, but in this case it happened to involve a few. This is however, a story that will hopefully prevent such instances from happening again.  As the speaker continued her story, all I could think about was what if that was my sister, or my mother, or my 5 year old niece?!? Even worse…what if it were me?? My initial sympathy for the speaker turned into anger, which eventually turned into motivation to make more guys like me aware of the Red Zone.

I did some research and found that 1 in 4 women are sexually assaulted during their college years, and that 1 in 8 men are as well! Yep that’s right 1 in 8 MEN (just in case you thought it couldn’t happen to you). With these figures, the chances of you knowing someone that has been or could potentially be sexually assaulted are pretty high.

So what is it about the first month of school that causes these high incidents of sexual assault to occur? 
Well many first year students have never lived away from the watchful eye of their parents and so they tend to engage in freedoms that they were never allotted when at home. Freedoms like staying out later at night, going to parties, and getting intoxicated. In addition to enjoying these new found freedoms, with so many opportunities to meet new people, lots of students tend to let their guard down and are more vulnerable to peer pressure to drink and do drugs. 

These behaviors seem pretty normal for most college students right? So how do so many become victims?
In most cases, new students always seem to forget about personal SAFETY, especially in social settings. Awareness is one of the biggest ways to prevent sexual assault and that’s where men come in. In most of these cases a guy is the perpetrator and in most of these cases the assault could have been prevented.  Ever heard of the bystander effect?  If not, you’ll learn about in your Social Psychology class.  It refers to cases where individuals do not offer any means of help in a situation when others are present. Here’s a scenario: you’re at a party when a female student has had too much to drink and a guy clearly states his plan to take advantage (Don’t be that guy). Some guys might encourage such behavior; those that don’t agree may just stand there and judge. What about you?  What would you do?  Would you intervene? Take the same scenario and replace the phrase “a female student” with, “your little sister” or “your best friend”, does that change your answer?   

As men in the University community there are a few ways we can help lower the numbers of sexual assault during the Red Zone:
  • Respect yourself and others
  • Recommend walking to and from places in groups of 3 or more
  • Take a stand against verbal sexual abuse/jokes
  • Intervene (Speak UP) should you see the potential for a situation that could go awry, if you don’t feel comfortable find someone who does.
Seems pretty simple right? Outside of the obvious- that sexual assault is just plain wrong- as someone’s brother, father, son, or friend, men should care about the Red Zone because with statistics like 1 in 4 floating around, chances are we can prevent this heinous act from happening to someone we know. Now that you’re aware, share the Red Zone with a friend.

-Jeremy Williamson
Residence Life Coordinator
University of Louisville Properties

Monday, August 1, 2011

What We're About

Hi, I’m Colin, and I’m the new Program Coordinator here at PEACC.  There’s not a very diplomatic way to say this, so I’ll just jump right into it:

I know that people have preconceived notions about who we are and what we do.  And I’d like to clarify some of that.

First of all, we are not just a women’s group, as power-based personal violence on campus is not just a women’s issue.  Making our community safer requires the efforts of everyone.  When a small number of people commit acts that are detrimental to the safety of others, it doesn’t just impact the survivor- it sends waves through the community.  Eventually, the effects are felt by everyone, whether they specifically attribute it to that act of violence or not.

Secondly, we don’t believe that all men are rapists.  It’s simply not true.  Nor do we believe that only men commit acts of power-based personal violence.  What we do know is that a small number of people actually commit these acts, but with such frequency that their proportion in society seems larger than it truly is.  But while only a small percentage commit such acts, a large percentage can help to stop them.  When we come to your classes, your dorms, and events, we’re not there to preach or label.  We’re there for one simple reason:

We need your help.

We know that everyone wants a safer campus.  No one walks around saying, “I’d like some more violence.”  But, understandably, most people don’t want to sign up for a crusade or a movement.  But what if we could work towards a solution with everyone doing just a little bit, a slight extension of what you already do?  It’s a thought worth considering, and a conversation worth having.  At PEACC, we want to help you figure out what that contribution could be, and we will work with you to help make it happen.  So please, contact our office, and let’s talk about the steps we can take to create a safer environment in our little corner of the world.

Monday, February 28, 2011

A special post...

Silvia gave an hour long Green Dot presentation, and one student (Micheal) was so moved that he wrote a response on his blog. Here is a link to Micheal's blog, so you can read it yourself: Micheal's Blog.

We're glad that people are getting so enthusiastic! Enjoy the post!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I hope all of you are enjoying this beautiful weather today! Just wanted to quickly check in and remind everyone that next week is BABA week! The purpose of this week is to "increase awareness and promote discussion about how the media and advertising affect how we think, feel, act, shop and treat other people". Make sure to APPRECIATE your BODY next week and all the time!! 

Also, thanks to everyone that came out to the Vagina Monolgues and helped make this year another success! Thanks to all of our wonderful volunteers as well! 
Let's hope this spring weather continues, it's my favorite time of the year! 

-Amber :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

No Haters Please!

It's a new year, which means most people are coming up with New Years Resolutions. Or in the case of many, those resolutions have already ended in failure. Well, I've decided this year I'm going to keep up with this blog and write about some more engaging and fun topics!

Let's see, it's January 26th, which means we are in the midst of a little thing called No Name Calling Week. It's so easy to get caught up in making fun of people. Most of us do it without even realizing it! I know I am one of the most sarcastic people I know, and often (okay, more than often) let some words slip. But after taking a few minutes to think about it, I realized that when people direct harsh words at me I can't help but feel there is a little truth to the statement, no matter how jokingly it's said. That's why I am challenging you to take the rest of the week to think about what you say before you say it.

What would the world be like if everyone thought before they spoke? Or to narrow it down a bit, what would UofL's campus be like? To have everyone get along and not have people talking bad behind another person's back or even to their face is a pretty good goal. It may seem far fetched to believe we can have a 100% Hate Free Campus, but if everyone just thinks a little bit more before they speak, this goal is 100% obtainable!

The next time you want to say something rude to or about someone, try a compliment instead! You're not perfect, and neither is anyone else. No one in the world has the right to judge another person. Everyone has faults, as well as strengths. Let's try to see the good in each other!

No More Haters! Only PEACC and Love :)


Monday, January 24, 2011

Things to get Excited About!!

Hey everybody! I wanted to let you all know of an upcoming event that I am getting really excited for! International Women's Day is going to be March 8th, and it happens to be the 100th year anniversary! We're in the process of planning this event right now and I can tell you that it's going to be a lot of fun and a great experience. I'll be keeping you informed of what we have in the works as well as other important info for volunteer opportunities so keep checking the blog.

Also, don't forget about V-Week coming up February 7th-12th, and the production of the Vagina Monologues is being performed Feb 10, 11 and 12th at 7pm! More info to come on that too! 

With all this talk about Women's Day and V-Week you guys may be feeling a bit left out. But don't worry because there is a Men's Story Project Workshop being held February 8th from 6:30-8 pm in the Campus Health Activity Room! 

There are so many events coming up this semester that you will never be bored! Keep checking the blog to get updates, and don't forget about the Volunteer Facebook Group!


Friday, December 3, 2010

Welcome back from break everyone! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Even though we just got back it's already almost that time of year again, finals week. With all the late nights spent in the library studying, it's tough to think of anything to look forward to. But I hope you're getting excited for all the fun events we have coming up next semester! We've got the Vagina Monologues coming up at the start of next year. Auditions are about to begin so if either you or someone you know is interested here's the dates and times:
12/6: 2pm-4pm, 12/7: 2pm-4pm, 12/7: 6pm-8pm, 12/9: 2pm-4pm, 12/9: 6-8 pm
You can audition for a part during the actual performance or for a crew member position! If you forget the times and dates just look around campus for the bright pink fliers! 
Good luck to everyone that has finals, I know I'm going to need some luck as well! I hope everyone has a fun and safe break and comes back next semester refreshed!

Happy Holidays!