The Hook Up: A Look at How to Prevent Sexual Assault and Rape

On January 27, George Zerante came in to talk with DSU students about the differences between a good hook up, a bad hook up, and a sexual assault or rape. The Hook Up, a program from Catharsis Productions, aims to debunk the myths we have about sexual assault.  The program started out with a little warning about vulgar language and then preceded to compose lists of both male and female sexual words and the names that society uses to describe them. The female list included terms such as slut, whore, community bicycle, and other names that are associated with a female that may be sexually active with several men. The male list consisted of names like stud, player, pimp, and other terms that many think have positive connotations compared to the words on the female list. This was done so that the audience could see the double standard being applied and the objectifying language that is commonly used in our society today. Zerante made sure to point out that even the male list is considered to be as bad as the female list because very few women would go out with or even considered dating a man referenced as a stud. Even if many people consider the male list to be “better” than the female list, Zerante reveals that in reality both are equally bad.

After creating and defining the two lists, Zerante talked about how the words on both lists can be used as covers and concealments for rapists. Zerante described how a rapist would be more comfortable and at ease in a place where most of the people used terms like slut and stud. For a rapist, it’s easier for them to hide in plain site because the language they use is being used all around them and so it becomes harder to discern the rapist from the rest of the crowd. That is why it becomes prudent for society to stop the use of that type of language and make it harder for the rapist to hide. When many people think of a rapist, they think of a dark figure (with a mustache) who lurks in the alley (aka rape valley) waiting for their next victim to walk by. Research and statistics have pointed out that this type of rape is actually in the minority for reported rape cases. Force is generally not used in most rape cases. The main weapons of the rapist are actually grooming, coercion, and mental games. This means that the general image created by society of a rapist is mostly a myth and in reality a rapist can be anyone.

So, if anyone can become a rapist, how do you prevent yourself from becoming one? Well you’ve heard it before and it’s probably been hammered into your head several times by now. The one way to stop rape is verbal consent from both parties throughout. We all know that it’s awkward when we ask for consent with our partner because it’s not exactly the most romantic thing to say when you’re about to have sex. Though, it’s prudent that we do this and Zerante points out that we can use some body language as consent like putting on a condom. Overall, it’s still best for you to ask for consent and have a verbal agreement. If your partner says stop in the middle of sex, you still need to stop because he or she have rescinded their consent. If you continue after they have asked you to stop, you are committing rape. It’s a lot easier to just ask for permission and prevent yourself from getting into a great deal of trouble.

Here is a little scenario. Let’s say one of your buddies is trying to get a girl drunk and have her come with him. What should you do? Many of us have heard of this scenario and most of us know that the girl cannot give consent when she is nearing passing out drunk. We know that it’s wrong for your buddy to take advantage of a girl who can barely stand upright. The major question to ask is how do we stop him? Well thankfully, Zerante gave us the 4 step program to help called the 4 D’s. The 4 D’s are four steps that you can use to prevent your friend or anyone from sexually assaulting another. The first D is named Direct. In this step, you should go up and talk to your friend. Tell them that you’re not okay with him doing this and that he should stop. In this step, you can have friends support you to make it more impactful when you talk to your buddy. If that fails, it then goes to the second D, Distract. In this step, you will try and distract or divert your friend away from the drunk women. You can use simple tactics like playing a game of pool, inviting him to chat with other friends, or any other tactic that you can think of that will get him to move away from the drunk women. If that fails, move on to Delegate. In this stage, you essentially outsource and get help from your friends and other people like the bartenders or bouncer to get your friend away from the situation. Finally, we have the last D, Delayed. This step is for when you were absent and cannot help with the first three steps but your other friends were able to stop your buddy. In this stage, you will want to stop any rumors that are being dished out from others and talk with your buddy about his behavior and teach him that his behavior is unacceptable.

Hopefully this article helped you gain some factual knowledge that will help you to prevent sexual assault and dismantle safe hiding grounds for rapists. If you would like to know more about this program and others like it, you should visit the Catharsis Productions website for more information.

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