Katz’s TED Talk, titled “Violence Against Women- It’s a Men’s Issue,” has received over a 1,600,000 views on YouTube.By Sam Mosher, 23News Reporter

One in five women is sexually assaulted while attending college, according to a 2015 study by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Over 90 percent of these victims do not report the sexual assault to authorities. This makes rape the most underreported crime in the United States.

With statistics like these, Jackson Katz believes everyone should be taking part in the fight against sexual violence.

Katz spoke on MU’s campus Nov. 30 as part of the Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Center’s week of recognition for the White Ribbon Campaign, an organization dedicated to ending male violence against women.

Katz spoke to a packed room of college students and community members in the Reynolds Alumni Center Ballroom.

Katz spoke to a packed room of college students and community members in the Reynolds Alumni Center Ballroom.

Katz is the co-founder of Mentors in Violence Prevention, the first national program to use the bystander intervention technique that is utilized by MU’s Green Dot Program, according to their website. The Green Dot program teaches participants how to stop power-based personal violence and take proactive steps to change campus culture.

Katz helped spread the bystander intervention technique. Since 1997, Katz has worked with the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps to educate troops in the prevention of gender violence, according to his website. He believes the technique is such a successful prevention tool because it calls on bystanders to intervene in a dangerous situation.

Katz is also a filmmaker, creating the acclaimed Tough Guise educational movies, which examine perceptions of masculinity in pop culture and society. These films also analyze the connection between masculinity and sexual violence.

Katz used his lecture on MU’s campus to discuss power-based personal violence, specifically male violence against women. He made a point of classifying his topic as “male violence against women” because it is often referred to as “violence against women.” He said this terminology is detrimental to stopping such violence because it takes the focus off the perpetrator.

“Calling these issues ‘women’s issues’ is detrimental. Men think it does not affect them,” Katz said.

Katz acknowledged males are not responsible for all sexual violence crimes, but demonstrably, the perpetrators are men and the victims are women. In single-victim incidents, about 99 percent of the perpetrators are male, according to a U.S. Department of Justice study published in 1997. Another U.S. Department of Justice study found 89 percent of all survivors of completed and attempted sexual assaults were female.

Katz said women have been at the forefront of fighting sexual violence since the 1970s. Katz called for a paradigm shift during his lecture. He said the old norm was for men to help women in order to be nice, but now, it is time for helping women to be expected.

“We need to raise the bar for what it means to be a good man in 2016,” Katz said.

Katz asserted this new normal wouldn’t make college less enjoyable.

“Nothing I have said tonight impedes on your ability to have an enjoyable academic and social experience at the University of Missouri,” Katz said.

Katz’s main message was for men to start taking action in the fight against sexual violence. He said it was wrong for women to be expected to carry their own burdens. He stated it is time to take the issue to the group that is most responsible for such crimes.

Katz recognized standing against sexual violence can be difficult, but he affirmed men should be expected to stand against such injustices.

“We need more men who are willing to take risks, even if it means other men may make fun of them,” Katz said. “If you don’t say anything to your friend who is performing these actions, aren’t you perpetuating the problem?”

Edited by Aviva Okeson-Haberman | arodn9@mail.missouri.edu 

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