Moving to End Sexual Assault (MESA) has launched a podcast focused on addressing sexual violence. Sex: By Invitation Only is a five week series dedicated to asking the question “It’s a scary time for men?”
Janine D’Anniballe, Director of Trauma Services at Mental Health Partners in Boulder who oversees MESA says that this question originates with Donald Trump.
“It was our president of the United States that first uttered those words specifically, to say ‘oh we men have to look out now’. And then I think it got some other popular support, that ‘oh boy people need now to be careful at work, and men can’t be themselves at work’. It’s so maddening really, because the men who need to be worried about their behavior and the men who, maybe, might want to have some feelings of fear are the men that are commiting and perpetrating crimes of sexual violence. If men aren’t doing that, men have nothing to be worried about. But the culture is changing for the men who are doing that because they’re being called out, and starting to be held accountable.”
The podcast also covers issues like consent: what it is and what it isn’t. The absence of a no is not consent, as consent must be explicitly given and if it isn’t, consent hasn’t been given. “It’s frightening that in many of our high schools locally, there can be confusion that if someone is asleep, that if someone then assaults them or has sex with them while they’re in sleep, that’s not a sexual assault when in fact it is because consent is absent.” D’anniballe believes that the act of teaching children about consent should begin at a young age.
According to D’Anniballe, sexual assault is an epidemic in the Boulder area. The amount of people she sees suffering from sexual assault at the trauma center she’s associated with is “unfathomable”. It happens on a daily basis, and D’Anniballe, along with the podcast, are hoping to bring more attention to the subject.
MESA’s 24 hour hotline (303-443-7300), and its website offers support and resources to victims of sexual assault.