By Joel Hillan
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4)– At the Women and Gender Advocacy Office on the Colorado State University campus they do the work of a supporting survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking.
Within that office, a program aimed at engaging men in the conversation is gaining attention: Men in the Movement.
“They’re kind of saying ‘I don’t rape anyone, I don’t sexually assault anyone, so I’m good’ and what we’re asking is for those men to step up,” said Carl Olsen.
He runs the organization and fears if we don’t change our approach, the results will stay the same.
“The status quo right now is one in four women experiencing sexual assault in their lifetime, one in six men experiencing sexual assault in their lifetime and one in two transgender individuals,” he said.
“I think that Injustice to one person is Injustice to us all,” said Colin Sheehan, a junior majoring in English. He joined the movement which he says starts with looking inward.
“Self-reflection has a lot to do with forgiving yourself and the things that you may have done wrong and being open and honest about those things and growing from them and not just letting them simmer inside of yourself,” he said.
An open conversation from men, to men in hopes of bringing change.
“We’re just engaging with people constantly and trying to maybe reframe some of the things that they hold to be true.”
Olsen hopes this process will help men better see the humanity in others.
“I think if we don’t recognize our own humanity then we don’t recognize the humanity in others which makes them now viable for violence,” said Olsen.