Resource 

Using Drunk Driving Deaths to Understand Sexual Assault

Abstract:

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EXAMPLE RESOURCE. I challenge student’s ideas about who is responsible to prevent rape by comparing rape to drunk driving deaths. I argue that there is little that an individual can feasibly do to prevent being killed by a drunk driver today. We do not expect individual self-protective behaviors to be an effective means to reduce drunk driving deaths in the community. Instead we rely on macro-level approaches focused on the perpetrator, such as stricter laws or better policing. In contrast to the macro-level approach used to prevent drunk driving deaths, when it comes to rape prevention, there is an inappropriate reliance on micro-level, victim initiated measures. Women are expected to protect themselves from their own assault. These micro-level measures, like advising women to carry mace at night, are ineffective. Also, because they hold the victim responsible for their own defense, the victim is also held responsible if they fail to adequately protect themselves. Just like with drunk driving deaths, the real way to reduce rape is to use perpetrator-focused, macro-level, community approaches to prevention. This comparison helps students problematize the victim-based approach to rape-prevention and develop a sense of personal responsibility to help prevent rape in the community.

Details:

Resource Type(s):
Class Activity 
Author(s):
Monika Ulrich, Arkansas State University 
Date Published:
10/12/2011 
Subject Area:
Family 
Class Level:
any 
Class Size:
Any 
Language:
English 


Usage Notes:

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This exercise can be used in classes like family, gender, sexuality, criminal justice, the body and family violence. The entire presentation takes about 60 minutes.

Learning Goals and Assessments:

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Goal 1:
(1) Understand that the current mainstream approach to rape prevention tends to hold victims responsible for rape prevention
Assessment 1:
(1) Students will be able to explain how the mainstream approach to rape prevention holds victims responsible
Goal 2:
(2) Differentiate between macro and micro approaches to rape prevention
Assessment 2:
(2) Students will be able to give examples of macro and micro approaches to rape prevention
Goal 3:
(3) Feel motivated to engage in society-wide efforts to reduce rape
Assessment 3:
(3) Students will report that they feel more motivated to engage in society-wide efforts to reduce rape

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