“No Means No” and Other Lessons To Teach Our Boys About How To Respect Women

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Every 107 seconds another American is sexually assaulted. According to rainn.org 1 in 6 women will or have been victims of rape. 3% of American men have been victims of sexual assault as well. 15% of victims are children under the age of 12. 38% of rapes were committed by someone the victim knew, and possibly even felt safe with, such as a friend or acquaintance. 50% of theses incidents happened within a mile from the victim’s home or at their home. 68% of rapes are not reported to the authorities.

While researching this topic I read tips on how to prevent sexual assault. The tips I found consisted of : Stick with your group, don’t leave your drink unattended, trust your instincts, look out for your friends, and so on. While all of these are great tips and very important to practice, it occurred to me that too many times the responsibility to prevent rape falls on the victim. Obviously we need to be aware and practice safety but I think we should need to start talking to our boys at a young age, as well. I recently saw a post on a family member’s Facebook page about rape prevention that was directed towards parents. The tips were on what we should teach our boys to ensure they understand the importance of self control and no means no.

As a mom of 5 boys and 1 girl, I started thinking about everything my daughter would have to go through. Don’t wear that, don’t be too nice, don’t go to the store after dark alone, don’t make eye contact…The list goes on. I think too often we focus on what the girl should or shouldn’t have done, but as a mom of both (and primarily boys), I want to focus on what my boys should or shouldn’t do. There is the time old saying that boys will be boys, well I am raising my boys to be men, gentlemen. I want to encourage every boy mom and dad out there to do the same.

Women shouldn’t be afraid to report a rape because of fear of being at fault. I don’t care what you are wearing, where you found yourself in that moment, how much you had to drink, whether or not you screamed or fought back. I don’t care what your profession is, what your sexual history consists of, or how big of a flirt you are. It is NEVER your fault. Sex without consent is rape. Being too intoxicated to be aware and having someone take advantage of you is rape. You told your abusive husband no and he forced himself on you anyway, that’s RAPE! NO means NO and it’s time we teach our son’s this concept.

My Tips For Boys On How To Be Respectful To Women:

1. When someone tells you no, they mean they do not want whatever it is you are offering, so back off!

2.Think before you react. Rape is more about control, domination, and violence, than about sexual pleasure.

3. Your date or yourself can at anytime, change their/your mind. You may have been in the mood and now you’re not, that’s okay.

4. If you take your date out for drinks and she drinks a little too much, take her home, help her to the door and then tell her goodbye. Call and check on her in the morning. Remember the legal drinking age is 21!

5. Abuse of any kind is a sign of weakness. Real men do not need to build themselves up by making another person feel weak.

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