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It Takes a Team

February 16, 2017

Lasell men's lacrosse team standing up to sexual violence

"They came to me," says Professor Karin Raye, J.D., in regards to the sexual and domestic violence training she held with the Lasell men's lacrosse team last year, "[Some of the lacrosse players] were in my sexual violence class... [and they] mentioned how great it would be to train men's teams, particularly the men's lacrosse team."  It was this that sparked Raye to connect with Lacrosse Coach Bill Mason and form a partnership to take a public stand against domestic and sexual violence. 

While the partnership was formed last year, the team's enthusiasm and commitment to the cause gained momentum and has led to the formation to a semester-long campaign this year to increase awareness of sexual violence and breaking down gender stereotypes.  In fact, Raye and her long-time collaborator and co-trainer Jessica Teperow of REACH Beyond Domestic Violence organization led a training that encompassed gender stereotypes, men's engagement, and standing up against sexual and domestic violence.  Throughout the rest of this semester, the lacrosse team, aided by Raye's Sexual Violence (CJ335X) class, will run a White Ribbon Campaign as well as create a film that will be launched at Lasell's Spring Connected Learning Symposium.  

But, it's the commitment of the Lacrosse team that is truly inspiring.  "The whole team came to [and spoke at] my Domestic Violence class' Connected Learning Event, Take Back the Night," continues Raye, "We planned to train them this Spring, but they wanted more involvement and a bigger role." Indeed, when it came to the most recent training, Teperow reported that "One of the older players reminded his team that now that they have collectively made domestic/sexual violence their issue, each of their individual actions will reflect and have an impact on how people see their collective commitment. It isn't simply about wearing a ribbon, it's about speaking up every time a sexist comment is made, or [when] they see an interaction that makes them concerned."  

According to Raye, "Raising awareness is essential to educate, combat, and increase reporting around these important issues."  But it is the lacrosse team's proactive and preventive campaign that will promote awareness and change in behavior.  "Real, lasting change often comes from the community members themselves," says Teperow, "and [it] can happen rapidly when those in leadership take a stand."