It’s a touchy subject when it comes to touching - when it’s okay and when it’s not.
That’s something about three dozen young spent part of their day Friday discussing. They all signed up for the Rape Crisis Center’s Male Role Call. Director Kesha Gibson-Carter says the goal of the program is to prevent sexual violence and help attendees understand the law.
“To help them understand the value of consent, help them understand what a healthy relationship is; help them understand what a pervasive role alcohol plays in the facilitation of rape and sexual violence," said Carter.
This is the fourth year for the Rape Crisis Center’s male role call.
“They are hard subjects to approach for parents with their children, and so this is a responsible, professional way that parents of boys can trust that we will be relaying information to their young people in regards to sex and sexual violence,” Carter said.
That includes information about the law, encouraging responsible behavior and bystander intervention, as well as a warning about the pitfalls of peer pressure. The program targets young men aged 14 to 19. Rasheed Knowles is headed into 8th grade.
“I came here to learn more about consent and safety; more about safety,” he says.
Corde Hazel is another one of the attendees and talked about his reason for signing up.
“Because I want to learn more about how to prevent rape and being in healthy relationships," he said.
"Why do you think that is so important," we asked.
"Because kids nowadays need this before they get older, you know,” he said.
Carter believes the program will provide the young men with valuable information that will help them stay out of trouble and have better relationships,
“Knowledge is power, so when you understand what consent is and what consent isn’t, when you understand what a healthy relationship is and what a healthy relationship isn’t, you are more likely to engage in responsible behaviors and responsible practices," she said.
Speakers for the event included representatives from law enforcement, the district attorney's office, and other community agencies.