Working with Fraternities to Prevent Rape

The New York Times

Phoebe Schreiner, Matt Leibowitz


To the Editor:

College Rape Prevention Program Proves a Rare Success” (news article, June 11) suggests that training female students to avoid rape can be effective. But rape avoidance is not rape prevention. As the article notes, experts say that to prevent campus sexual assault, we need solutions that call on everyone to help change the culture that enables assault to persist. And we believe that “everyone” includes fraternities.

Some suggest that banning fraternities (or barring women from fraternity houses) will do the trick. Of course, fraternities can be part of the problem. But many fraternity members are already working not only to hold their peers accountable but also to challenge the norms and stereotypes that enable sexual assault on campus and beyond.

Research by the global human rights organization Breakthrough shows that many fraternity members and groups want to be an asset, not a liability – and that’s why our organizations work with fraternities to support them in doing just that. Considering that many fraternity leaders go on to become political and economic leaders, let’s mobilize them rather than marginalize them.

To enable all students to reach their full potential, we need the whole campus – and the whole country – on board.



New York

Ms. Schreiner is the U.S. country director of Breakthrough. Mr. Leibowitz is co-founder and executive director of Consent Is So Frat.

Find the original article here.