This article was originally published by Mennonite World Review

What men can do

Men care about the statistic that 1 in 6 women will experience sexual assault. Men know it may be their mothers, wives, daughters, sisters or nieces who have been or will be attacked.

What are men to do? Keep the communication doors open. Assure that you can handle anything she wants to tell and that you will support and seek justice for her. Blaming her or threatening revenge may silence her.

Men who have sexually abused or harassed others have choices of how to respond:

1. Deny, deny, deny.
2. Yes, I did something, but boys will be boys.
3. I’ve evolved. I’m not the same guy as in high school.
4. I realize that what I did was very hurtful.
5. I realize the woman has had to live with this violation of her body and spirit all these years.  I’m sorry.
I can act:
6. I can ask her to forgive me.
7. I can ask for forgiveness and try to make this wrong as right as possible.
All men can affirm:
8. I will raise my children to respect others.
9. I will show respect for all at work, home, school, church and social activities.
10. I will make good choices, for the civility and sanity of myself and the world.

Harry Neufeld
North Newton, Kan.

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