REGINA – The University of Regina has launched a campaign aimed to engage men in preventing sexual assault.
Sociology student Tyler Perkins spoke at a kick-off press conference for the Man Up Against Violence campaign on Monday. He plays on the U of R football team and he’s doing his honours thesis on homophobia in the locker room.
“When it comes to violence against women or homophobia, they’re actually coming from the same issue, which is something they call hegemonic masculinity: the idea that there’s one type of masculinity that everybody tries to live up to,” Perkins said.
Man Up Against Violence is a continuing campaign that focuses on public beliefs and misconceptions about masculinity and violence. Saskatchewan has the highest rate of domestic violence in the country. Now the province has endorsed a video campaign to make people aware of situations where they could help prevent sexual assault. They’ll also begin a domestic violence deaths review before the upcoming provincial election.
“We know a lot of the issues that surround domestic violence. We need to look and see the programs we have in Saskatchewan in our various industries, how effective they are and to see whether we can reallocate resources,” said Justice Minister Gordon Wyant.
The Man Up Against Violence campaign has also produced a documentary.
“I want it to be talked about. I want it to be redefining what it means to “man up,” explained Roz Kelsey, campaign chairperson.
The U of R also introduced a new campus sexual assault policy in September.