To make our college campuses safer, change still needs to come from many quarters: schools must adopt better policies and practices to prevent these crimes and to more effectively respond when they happen, and federal agencies must ensure that schools are living up to their obligations. To accomplish these and other goals, the President today is establishing a White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. The Task Force will:
- Provide educational institutions with best practices for preventing and responding to rape and sexual assault.
- Build on the federal government’s enforcement efforts to ensure that educational institutions comply fully with their legal obligations.
- Improve transparency of the government’s enforcement activities.
- Increase the public’s awareness of an institution’s track record in addressing rape and sexual assault.
- Enhance coordination among federal agencies to hold schools accountable if they do not confront sexual violence on their campuses. Credit White House Task Force 2014 Click to read the report.
If you are the parent of a teenage boy, particularly if you are the father of one, it is important to talk to your son about date rape. Tell him the importance of respecting a woman, and that if a girl says stop or no, he must listen! Period, no questions asked. Make sure he understands that if he doesn’t stop he could be arrested. It is as simple as that! Make sure he knows that date rape is rape and rape is wrong. Above all, you need to reinforce the notion that being a man does not mean being indiscriminately or insensitively dominant.
Make sure to talk with your son about his feelings and urgings. As a man you need to help him to understand that his attraction to a girl and urges to have sex are perfectly normal. Encourage him to come to you with his questions and any confusion he has reading the signals that girls might be sending. Open a dialog with your son. He needs your guidance more than you might think.
If you have a daughter, make sure she knows that rape is a violent crime and that she has a right to stop a sexual encounter at any point. Impress upon her the dangers of alcohol or the use of other drugs, especially at social gatherings. She must understand that often “date rape” drugs are slipped into a potential victim’s drink, so she should be vigilant and not take a drink offered to her by a stranger or someone who she doesn’t trust. She should also never leave her drink unattended at a party.
Make sure if your daughter has been raped that she knows that it is not her fault in any way. Get her a mental health consultation to rule out any residual serious psychiatric effect. Sometimes short-term follow-up counseling can prevent far greater psychic harm in the future. Be there for her. Listen and be patient.
Information contained in this blog is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical or psychiatric advice for individual conditions or treatment and does not substitute for a medical or psychiatric examination. A psychiatrist must make a determination about any treatment or prescription. Dr. Paul does not assume any responsibility or risk for the use of any information contained within this blog.