Monday, October 3, 2022

Culture of Consent discussion held on campus

November 12, 2018
Keith Edwards speaks about Creating a Culture of Consent at the Kellogg Center on Nov. 8, 2018.
Keith Edwards speaks about Creating a Culture of Consent at the Kellogg Center on Nov. 8, 2018. —
Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

As a father to two daughters, Keith Edwards has stepped up to the plate to deliver speeches all around the country to inform the public of the dangers of sexual assault and how to prevent it from happening. 

Thursday night, Edwards gave one of those talks to MSU students.

“We need to stop thinking about sexual violence as a women’s issue, and start thinking about sexual violence as a men’s issue," Edwards said at the beginning of his lecture.

Edwards mentioned one in four women on a college campus will be a victim of sexual violence. By bringing awareness to the issue, Edwards says he hopes to bring an era of change to the world in regard to how we treat victims of sexual violence.

Edwards said he thinks a culture has been created where perpetrators of sexual violence often are not held accountable and where sexual violence is tolerated.

Statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation shown by Edwards said somewhere between one and two percent of all reported acts of sexual violence are false claims, yet blame is more often than not associated with the victim.

“We live in a culture that blames victims of sexual assault,” Edwards said. "Because we live in a culture that sends those messages, the first person to blame the victim of sexual violence is the victim themselves.”

Edwards shared four steps to help guide someone when another trusts them with their story of sexual assault. 

The steps were to make sure the person is safe, believe them, tell them it isn't their fault and empower them and make them feel strong.

By following those four steps, Edwards believes society can start changing the culture around sexual violence.

After laying out the steps, Edwards said he believes society incorrectly educates the public about sexual violence on college campuses.

Edwards said he is holding out hope that things will get better.

“I am so hopeful because a difference can be made,” Edwards said. 

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