Thursday, October 20, 2011

Prevention: Equality Training

The simple truth: end demand, end supply.  The one and only reason that sex-trafficking exists is because some men like the idea of having sex with a prostitute or with a young child.  As long as this entitlement-based mentality is out there, there will be children who are victims of sexual abuse and potentially sex-trafficking.  While most men you know are probably not out looking for a 13-year-old to sleep with, there is still a rather too-prevalent idea that women are asking for it.  One friend of mine once commented about the Roman Polansky case that the 13-year-old girl Polansky molested had probably seduced him.  Say what?!  Women aren't "asking for it"!  If the "good" men around us are living in the mentality that an abused woman "wants" to be used sexually, what hope have we for the "bad" men?  Let's work on stopping this mentality here, now, with us and then take our message to the broader world:

  1. CAASE: A Chicago-based organization that "offers a curriculum for high school boys to help them end sexual exploitation in their own lives."  Unhealthy gender stereotypes and abuse begin at an early age and need to be addressed at an early age. The classroom is an excellent place in which to do this.
  2. A Call to Men: A male-led organization that "through seminars, workshops and other educational vehicles, A Call to Men  challenges men to reconsider their long held beliefs about women, in an effort to create a more just society. We achieve this by encouraging change in the behaviors of men through a re-education and training process that promotes healthy manhood."
  3. Triple X Church: This organization seeks to help men and women out of their pornography addictions.  While we live in a generation that unabashedly defends porn, there is an undeniable link between porn and sexual violence.  Porn gives a person a sense of entitlement: "I deserve to get whatever I want sexually."  Porn distances us from healthy sexuality: "I get to use people for my own pleasure."  Porn keeps women in bondage: "A woman is an object that exists solely for the sexual satisfaction of men and should, therefore, do whatever is asked of her sexually." Let's educate ourselves on the realities of porn, stop using it, and help others out of their addictions also. 
  4. The Pink Cross: another anti-pornography organization seeking to change our beliefs and attitudes toward the problem. 
  5. Christians for Biblical Equality: even within the church men sexually abuse women.  They use pornography, they hire prostitutes, they molest their kids. The only reason a person feels okay abusing another human being like this is because of a mentality.  CBE seeks to change the unhealthy thought-system we have about women and restore their equality as image-bearers of God and co-heirs of our inheritance in Christ.  Only when we have done this will sexual violence against women and children end. 

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