Voices of Men’ heard at event over breakfast

Alex Nemec

The Fox Valley Voices of Men continued its mission in Appleton on Wednesday to start more conversations with men about preventing sexual assault and domestic violence.

UW Oshkosh live-streamed the event in Sage Wednesday morning so students who couldn’t attend could tune in.

UWO student Travis Lundeen said it’s extremely important for men to contribute to the conversation regarding sexual assault and domestic violence.

“It’s men who are committing the acts and it’s also men, although some women can too, who are trying to silence those who have been sexually assaulted and harassed,” Lundeen said. “I think it’s on men to use their privilege in a way that helps create space for women.”

Lundeen said the most important thing he got out of attending the breakfast Wednesday morning was a sense of relief.

“It was reassuring knowing there were [approximately] 1,100 people at this event and I hope more men have been inspired to become allies from attending it,” Lundeen said.

UWO Women’s Center Director Alicia Johnson said it is important for men to have productive conversations about these issues.

“People think that sexual assault and domestic violence is a woman issue only, but it’s not, it’s a human issue,” Johnson said.

Johnson said everyone in the world probably knows somebody who has been affected by one of these issues.

“Everyone should be involved in helping sexual assault and domestic violence become nonexistent in the world culture,” Johnson said. “We all know a mom, a sister or a friend who has been the victim.”

Student Melissa Zamzow said it’s crucial for men to talk to other men about domestic violence and sexual assault because they listen to each other more.

“I believe that if you have a strong role model that man can influence younger men in understanding the ramifications of sexual assault and the ways to truly treat a woman,” Zamzow said.

The main theme for Voices of Men’s event this year was how one action can have a ripple effect on the rest of the society.

Johnson said she hopes the community can enhance the environment on campus.

“We want to create an environment on campus where people can talk about things like sexual assault and domestic violence openly,” Johnson said. “Where students of all genders can contribute to finding solutions to these problems.”