Flip the Script FAQ
The UI already offers sexual assault prevention programming (e.g., workshops on consent, bystander intervention, etc.). Why do we need Flip the Script?
Primary prevention is essential to our goal to end sexual violence and we will continue to support this work. Unfortunately, the culture change these programs aim to achieve takes time. Additionally, many situations of acquaintance sexual assault occur when no bystanders are present. Until the problem of sexual violence is solved, providing resistance education for women, that works, is the right thing to do.
Why aren't you trying to change men's behaviors? Are you suggesting it is the responsibility of women to reduce sexual violence when most perpetrators are men?
Many researchers have focused on men's behavior, but only a few junior high school programs have achieved positive results. Currently, the most promising route to changing men's behavior at the college level is through bystander education to create a less tolerant environment for perpetration and interrupt situations that show signs of becoming dangerous. Unfortunately, this type of change takes time and many acquaintance sexual assaults happen in situations where there are no bystanders present. Flip the Script focuses on giving women the tools they need to resist men who try to force them to engage in sexual activity they don't want. It accomplishes this while holding perpetrators accountable for their actions. Flip the Script reduces women's belief in rape myths including woman-blaming explanations for rape.
What about male victims and/or LGBTQIA victims of same-sex sexual violence; why doesn't the Flip the Script address their needs, too?
We want to end sexual violence against all people and realize there are high risk populations whose needs are not addressed by Flip the Script. Prevention research shows that if we try to make one program do everything for everyone, it ends up doing very little for anyone. Flip the Script is specifically designed for young women in college and the examples and exercises used in the program are relevant to their lives. The program is designed to be inclusive of heterosexual, bisexual, lesbian, asexual, and trans-women while focusing on sexual assault committed by men. To address the broader need for this type of training, we are working with the UI LGBTQ Clinic and other experts to develop a course that specifically addresses the needs of gender non-binary students. The Department of Public Safety offers Rape Aggression Defense classes for men and Health & Physical Activity Skills is offering a section of its self-defense course for men only in Spring 2018.
What about the harm caused to someone who takes the class and is later sexually assaulted? Will she think it was her fault?
Research on the curriculum suggests that participants overall are less likely to self-blame if they are later sexually assaulted. The curriculum emphasizes that victims are NEVER to blame and that risk is not defined by the victim; rather, it is solely due to the presence and actions of a perpetrator.