Central Community College teaches young adults how to be sexually responsible
HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Some conversations are hard to have; but being proactive is the first step. Central Community College in Hastings took that step with bring in a speaker from The Center of Respect. The focus was teaching young adults the “do’s” and “don’ts” of intimately interacting with potential partners, as well as what consent means.
According to some experts we’re in an unhealthy sexual culture. The keynote speaker explained why we are in the sexual culture we face.
“They start making out and they just start doing stuff, but nobody knows if that person wants that and they’re not even given a choice,” said Mike Domitrz, Founder of The Center for Respect. “Like suddenly this person’s hands are moving on their body and that’s part of the danger and part of the really unhealthy toxic environment. Is that people think I have the right to just make my move whenever I want on this person’s body or I have the right to go here because we’re kissing and that’s not how it works.”
Domitrz also spoke to students about how to intervene at parties when drugs and alcohol are involved and how to support sexual assault victims. He also interacted with the audience, asking situational questions to test their knowledge of consent.
“Consent is what we’re going to really focus on because if everybody was giving their partner choices and respecting the answer, then we wouldn’t have sexually assaults, we wouldn’t have the other things happening,” Domitrz said. “So we really want to focus on consent and get everybody to live with that idea of what consent really looks like, feels like, and sounds like in a relationship.”
It is important for people to understand that consent means when everything is mutual throughout the course of intimacy; but consent is only one part of the conversation.
“Respect means that my voice always matters,” Domitrz said. “So you could be in the heat of the moment, you could be deep into sexual activity and you say no or I want to stop, respect means you’re going to stop because I get that choice; and here’s the key to understanding respect. If you respect me, you know that I never owe you any sexual intimacy.”
Respect lies within a person wanting to stop but their request is ignored by their partner. A lack of consent and respect has led to more than two-thirds of sexual assault cases go unreported.
“It can be difficult for a lot of survivors to speak out because unfortunately we still are not at a place culturally where everybody supports and believes survivors unfortunately; and they often blame them,” Domitrz said. “So if you’ve had something horrific happen to you and then you think if I speak out people are going to make it worst, it can make it difficult to speak out.”
It is important to have these conversations, let survivors know how strong they are, and provide them with both private and public help through therapy.
“The overall mission is that we want everybody to have a choice,” Domitrz said. “So it’s teaching people hey ask someone before you do something with them sexually; and then really respect the answer. A lot of people if you say no to them will be like ‘why not, why won’t you make out, I thought you did this’ and they try to pressure the answer back to a yes. Respect the answer.”
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