Male peer educators sought to help end sexual violence
By Lissa Maki/Staff Writer, University Chronicle
Men in the SCSU community have a unique opportunity to stand up to fight
the epidemic of violence against women in our society.
According to the American Psychological Association, nearly one in three
adult women experience a serious assault by an intimate partner during
adulthood. The National Victim Center indicates that 78 women are raped
The sexual violence prevention program at the SCSU Women’s Center
currently is working to recruit a team of male peer educators to work
on these problems in the next academic year. Participants work to educate
the campus community about violence against women. The goal of the program
is to minimize sexual assaults and physical abuse perpetrated against
“We have been training peer educators since the Sexual Violence
Prevention Program began in the early ’90s. The first training we
did had 30 men and women participate. We now have gone to an all-male
peer educator program because we have more of a need for male peer educators.
We feel strongly that men need to speak out about violence against women
and that male audience members are more likely to listen to another man
and a peer,” said Lee LaDue, coordinator of Sexual Assault Services
at the Women’s Center.
According to LaDue, last year was the first year that the program focused
specifically on creating a male-only team.
“I believe that there are many benefits for the men that go through
the training,” she said. “I think for some, it changes their
view of the world and is a life changing process. Looking at these issues
improves their relationships with men and their relationships with the
women in their lives.
“It gives me hope for the future. It is also important because
we can’t change societal problems without all of us making personal
commitments and taking responsibility,” LaDue said.
Siva Kanagaratnam, a senior in Mass Communications at SCSU, participated
in the peer educator program.
“I was very interested in helping and understanding how to help
people who have gone through rape and abuse,” he said. Kanagaratnam
also shared his thoughts on why men should be involved in the program.
“It’s important cause it really gives you an insight into
what goes on in life,” he said. “It is mind-blowing what people
are capable of doing to their loved ones. It is important to know how
to help. I never knew what women go through when raped and abused —
not that I do now either — but it gives you a little insight into
how their life changes.
“It made me personally search myself on how to help people as opposed
to just go kick the other guy’s ass. The focus is the victim not
you. In this program they tell you what you should and should not do,”
For more information about the program or to volunteer, contact
Lee LaDue at (320) 308-3995