Thursday, March 31, 2016

Two Good Men Made a Difference

We've got a lot of work to do to end relationship and sexual abuse. But one thing that gives me hope is we're not doing this work alone. We've got many community partners. One such partner is Janine Stuchin, the executive director of the Prevention Council. Our agencies collaborate extensively because we understand how alcohol and substance misuse correlate with relationship and sexual abuse. Today Janine has graciously offered to be my guest blogger and share her thoughts on a recent news article:
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil 
is for good men to do nothing.
As I scan the headlines and read news articles of rape and assault, it seems too often the article concludes with perpetrators who seem to get away with the “perfect crime”.  An unconscious or alcohol/drug impaired victim who has been undeniably violated but largely unable to assist in identifying what actually happened.   And then I wonder … did no one, see or hear anything that lead to this crime being committed.  Could anyone have intervened?  Across college campuses Bystander Intervention programs have been brought in, students have been taught by peers to speak up, and challenged to create a new culture that keeps men and women safe in social settings. 

And so as I read The March 31, 2016 Huffington Post article “Ex-Stanford Swimmer Found Guilty of Sexually Assaulting Unconscious Woman on Campus”, I was struck that the turning point in this crime hinged on “two graduate students who rode their bikes by a night-time sexual assault outside a fraternity party”.  They stopped and got involved.  They shouted at the assailant, one cyclist pursued the rapist and one assisted the unconscious but breathing victim.  

And that is why the headline reads “Ex-Stanford Swimmer Found Guilty of Sexually Assaulting Unconscious Woman on Campus”, and not, “Woman Wakes Up With Pine Needles in Her Disheveled Hair [and] Dried Blood on her Hands and Elbows”.  That second quote was her testimony after waking up in the hospital after at least three hours of unconsciousness.    It may take good men doing nothing for evil to prevail, but on that winter night in late 2014, two good men made sure that didn’t happen. 

You can read more about this story here
Janine Stuchin
Executive Director, The Prevention Council of Saratoga County.

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