Images and Lessons from TAASA Conference 2014

Advodates, educators, law enforcement officers, and SANE’s
were recognized for their efforts to end sexual assault by
addressing barriers to helping survivors and holding sex offenders accountable.

The Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA) held a sexual assault conference recently. I had the honor and pleasure to spend five days in Irvine, Texas to learn current strategies and practices to end sexual violence through primary prevention efforts. 

There is definitely a lot of work to do. One major theme that stood out for me is the prevalence of hyper-masculinity and how that leads to sexual assault by the time young men reach high school and college. The development of hyper-masculinity starts at a pretty much the beginning of life.

TAASA’s Ted Rutherford talks about the development of “Dudebro”.

Hyper-masculinity, in short, is the notion that men:

  1. Not be sissies. In other words, don’t be a girl.
  2. Be the Big wheel. High roller, flashy, GQ, leader, in-control.
  3. Be a sturdy oak, tough, strong, stoic, no emotion, solid.
  4. Give ’em hell! Aggressive in all we do.
I never really understood why we need to prove our manhood to other men.

More about this can be read in Michael Kimmel’s book Guyland, which is a look into masculinity culture in the United States.

Buy this book from Click here.
Here are some photos I took at the conference in 2014.

Roger Canaff describes his experiences prosecuting
child sexual assault cases, and the “typical” offender.

A running gag/Easter egg from some prevention educators.

I held a workshop on applying the basics of learning theory
in the prevention work to change the attitudes and mindsets that
support a rape culture. That’s me standing in the very front of the room.

Shifting into a “coaching” role during the small group activity of my workshop.

Keynote luncheon, Day 2.

Prevention educators brainstorming what we
assume of parents, and what we feel parents
can do to promote healthy relationships for their children.

There was a bit of an adventure on the last session I attended, too. Thanks for capturing the memory, Zach (aka @Zeek_N.)

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