Be proactive — prevent assaults

“What part of no means no don’t you understand?” is a question to which some men have no answer.

“What part of no means no don’t you understand?” is a question to which some men have no answer.

In B.C. 1,000 women are either physically or sexually assaulted weekly and only 10 per cent of incidents are actually reported.

Over 60 per cent of British Columbians know at least one woman who has been sexually or physically assaulted. In 2010 there were 582 known reports of missing or murdered aboriginal women in Canada with B.C. recording the highest.

This reflects a huge problem that requires a resurgence of social conscience.

“If a woman indicates she wants sex, and then changes her mind, I’m still going for it regardless” is often the reply some men provide. They haven’t a clue as to the personal violation to which they are admitting or the criminal ramifications of their decision. Some men have no emotional connection to a woman/teen who is raped or the female violation experience. And many of these men have no interest or desire to learn.

“Don’t be that guy” is a law enforcement campaign aimed at males between the ages of 18 and 25 with the message that, “sex without consent is sexual assault” for which the assailant will be prosecuted. Although Rural Crime Watch (RCW) has no solid scientific data, our cursory research indicates that assault against women crosses all social, educational and age categories with alcohol and drugs often playing a key role in the crime.

Law enforcers are being pro-active and are concerned with the rising trend in sexual assaults, particularly during the holidays. Rape survivors experience a devastating emotional and physical recuperation which can last years and require considerable counselling.

RCW believes violent males are violent males and won’t change their behaviour because of this campaign but this proactive approach will illuminate the issue to law-abiding citizens who can be part of the solution of assault prevention and the prosecution of offenders. This is not to say all men, or even many men commit such acts but the mere fact that law enforcers are raising concerns should be an illumination for everyone.

Jonathan McCormick and Denny Fahrentholz are columnists from Rural Crime Watch.