Like many of you, we’ve been stunned by how many people are bravely sharing their stories of sexual violence as #metoo goes viral.
But sadly, we can’t say we’re surprised by the numbers. I bet you aren’t either. Sexual harassment, assault and violence are all far more predominant than we’d like to think.
Especially on our campuses.
Although women are often disproportionately (and horrifically) targeted, I too have been sexually assaulted. As a straight man, I learned that assault has no boundaries defined by identify, gender, preference, ethnicity, experience or otherwise.
We’re all in this together — yet we each feel so alone at the same time.
There’s a way to bridge that divide.
I know that this is a bizarre time to talk about a program. But I think it’s important to. Simply because I haven’t seen many effective programs to have a candid conversation about sexual violence without stigma.
Love, Honestly is an interactive keynote (or workshop) that my partner, Megan, and I created and deliver together.
She’s a therapist that often works with victims of assault. She’s also a victim of sexual violence herself. And I’m a guy that spends most of my time helping people feel safe to share their stories.
In the session, we share our stories and invite people to share theirs. We use our anonymous text messaging platform to allow students to share their experiences, ask questions, and have a dialog about sexual violence… without fear.
The program works because it’s not us talking “at ” anyone. Rather it’s people sharing their stories, seeing that they’re not alone, and being celebrated for their bravery.
And that’s where real solutions on campus can begin.
We’ve never promoted Love, Honestly much. Heck, we don’t even have a fancy little video about it. Even so, we’ve been getting a lot of calls about it all year.
I know budget is limited and your calendars are getting full, but if you want to tackle this in a different way let’s talk.
Meg and I will do everything we can to limit costs to visit as many campuses as possible. Because these conversations matter. One more victim is one too many. (Believe me, if some corporate big wig would cover our costs to visit every campus in North America, we would in a heartbeat).
Again, I know it’s awkward to talk about a program now. Please know that I would never do so unless I really believed Love, Honestly can help.
Just send me a quick note back if you’d like to explore it. I can be reached anytime at email@example.com.
Yours in solidarity,
PS. If you’re looking for some ideas of how to tackle this subject on campus, I am going to open up a thread on our Brave Campus Facebook Group right now. It’s a group of campus leaders to share best practices. If you’re not a member already, we’d love to have you.