Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sexual Violence Primary Prevention Focus Group Thoughts

The discussion from yesterday's focus group is confidential, and rightfully so since that allowed everyone to speak candidly, but I can share general thoughts.

The most important thought is that it isn't just those of us who are seen as activists who support primary prevention. It isn't just us who want to take positive actions toward eliminating violence which uses sex.

This is huge since it is easy to view those who hold sexual violence supportive views as representing the general population. This feeling that those of who care are vastly outnumbered can cause us to assume that other people's silence on this topic means they are apathetic when they care deeply. For many people who care this subject can simply be too uncomfortable to discuss.

I came away with ideas for important actions which I never would have thought would be a part of primary prevention. These ideas came from people who had expertise I've never had and will never have. Some of these ideas highlighted unequal approaches or choices based on gender which impact many people.

One action which I can mention since it is underway is the clean hotels initiative.

The report summarizing these focus group meeting will be completed either late this year or early next year and I believe there will be even more important ideas highlighted in that report.


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posted by Marcella Chester @ 3:53 PM   1 comments links to this post


At September 23, 2009 5:37 PM, Blogger JENNIFER DREW said...

The 'Clean Hotels' initiative is an excellent action plan because whilst mainstream pornography is not the central reason why so many males commit sexual violence against women and children, it certainly reinforces and normalises myths concerning pseudo male sexual entitlement to women's and girls' bodies. Pornography also very quickly desensitises the viewer's perception that women and girls cannot possibly experience pain or degradation.

I look forward to hearing more about the various initiatives and action plans when they are published, because for too long the focus has been on blaming and holding women and girls accountable for male sexual violence committed against them.

Prevention means precisely that - preventing male sexual violence against women and girls rather than focusing on one half of the human race.

Dominant sexual scripts which differ dramatically for women and men too must be challenged and changed if we really want to live in a society which truly believes women like men are in fact human and not just men's sexualised commodities.


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