The Collegian
Saturday, September 24, 2022

UR Men for change forum addresses sexual assault

"Rape and sexual abuse has not stopped so we will not stop either," said Ra-Twoine Fields, the vice president of UR Men for Change, as he thanked everyone for coming to its first forum of the year 6 p.m. Thursday. He then introduced crime prevention officer Randy L. Baran and police officer Tim Meacham.

Meacham had prepared a PowerPoint presentation addressing sexual assault. He explained sexual crimes as defined by the Virginia Code. Assault and battery, abduction and kidnapping, stalking, hazing, rape, indecent exposure and the effect of sexual offenses were among the topics discussed.

He displayed a graph showing the number of sex offenses at Richmond each year from 2000 to 2009.

"This is the reality of what's happened on campus," Meacham said. "In 2006 we had six reported cases. It may not look like much, but think about the campus population. And think about all the cases that weren't reported."

2006 had the highest number of sex offenses during the past nine years, he said. Meacham said he hoped that 2009 would show low numbers, and UR Men for Change could help make that possible.

According to a case study done by Meacham, one in every 400 students will be statistically involved in a sexual offense case, either as a victim or a suspect, while at Richmond. This is based on the number of victims, suspects, cases reported and students at UR.

Meacham showed other on-campus statistics. The average age of a victim is 19, and the average age of the suspect is 22. Alcohol was a factor in 79 percent of the cases that reported such information and 44 percent of all cases. Also, 92 percent of the victims knew the suspect in the cases that recorded such information and 44 percent of all cases.

Meacham explained why sexual assault cases happen.

"It's all about the sex," Meacham said. "'I wanna get the booty.'

"I use terms like that because, come on guys, look at The Collegian. They're printed every week. How casually do we treat sex?"

He then read some of the "Texts From Last Night" in the Features section of The Collegian.

The forum was closed by brainstorming what changes needed to be made. Meacham said two impact groups needed to be affected: the 19-year-old females and the 22-year-old males. He said peer education was the best.

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"If you're a real man, you don't rape," said junior Kevin Grayson, president of UR Men for Change.

Fields said: "We just want to change the image of men on UR's campus, and we believe that education is key, especially for certain things like this. We need real men to make real change."

Contact reporter Mary Morgan at mary.morgan@richmond.edu

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