The Weird World of Assault Awareness Education

Who, exactly, are these people teaching our kids what constitutes rape and what makes for good relationships? We asked some of the biggies in the field for their bona fides

Keith Edwards
founder, “Men Ending Rape” (or, “She Fears You”)

LIFE BEFORE THIS: Worked in residential and campus life at colleges, including the University of Delaware.

TACTICS: “I often describe my tactics as a PowerPoint presentation with an interactive lecture.”

COST: “The NCAA offers a speaker grant; right now it’s about $2,000. Schools can use that money to bring me in to talk to their teams or coaches.”

EFFECTIVENESS: “I try to show men the ways they can be involved before the assault actually happens.”

PRODUCT: None.

Mike Domitrz
founder, the Date Safe Project and “Can I Kiss You?” Program

LIFE BEFORE THIS: Started in college, in 1991, after his sister had been assaulted.

TACTICS: “Student interaction is important to ensure students lead the discussion about situations they are actually experiencing as a group.”

COST: “Campuses pay a flat fee that includes all expenses. We offer discounts to universities who team up while we are already in the region, because we are able to pass on the travel savings to them.”

EFFECTIVENESS: “When campuses have surveyed students after our presentation, they have at least 90 percent of students agree that ‘Asking First’ is the correct approach to intimacy.”

PRODUCT: T-shirts, posters, jewelry, temporary tattoos, books, CDs, DVDs and more.

Christian Murphy
co-owner, “Sex Signals”

LIFE BEFORE THIS: Professional actor for more than 20 years.

TACTICS: “We found by using humor, we get students engaged, and then once we have them engaged, we dig to the deeper issues.”

COST: Unwilling to comment. “The NCAA offers funding to bring in the program.”

EFFECTIVENESS: “There is difficulty with measuring the success rate in our case.”

PRODUCT: None.

Joseph Weinberg
“Teaching Sexual Ethics”

LIFE BEFORE THIS: Before becoming an activist 25 years ago, Weinberg was a carpenter.

TACTICS: “Nobody has ever talked to boys with any intention to teach them to be better partners, lovers, fathers. I will say during lectures at college campuses, ‘I believe more than half of us present have done some things that are legally associated with sexual assault.’”

COST: Honorarium plus expenses, including round-trip coach airfare, rental car to/from airport, nonsmoking lodging and vegetarian meals.

EFFECTIVENESS: “It’s hard. I don’t give evaluations, and schools don’t have a problem, so they wouldn’t judge it before-hand and after-hand.”

PRODUCT: Book “coming soon.”

Ben Atherton-Zeman
founder, The Voices Project

LIFE BEFORE THIS: Prevention educator for rape crisis centers, domestic violence programs and state coalitions.

TACTICS: “I wrote a play called “Voices of Men” that uses humor and celebrity impressions and voices to get students engaged.”

COST: “I care more about stopping sexual violence than getting paid, so if a college can’t afford the offer I put on the table, I’m willing to work with them. I do work with scholarships, specifically the NCAA.”

EFFECTIVENESS: “I get e-mails from kids saying, ‘Wow, I didn’t realize I was raped.’ They’re realizing for the first time that someone raped them.”

PRODUCT: Bumper stickers, t-shirts, jewelry.

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.