RAYMORE, Mo. - A lot of attention is being focused on sexual education for teens after two football players in Steubenville, Ohio were convicted of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl, then posting humiliating things about their victim on social media.
Now, a Kansas City-based group is meeting with thousands of students, hoping to change teenage boys' attitudes about rape. The group, Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA), will be at Ray-Pec East Middle School Monday to speak candidly with 7th and 8th grade boys about rape.
The group has spoken with thousands of students over the past decade, but tells us the Steubenville case is renewing their mission to speak with boys about the misconceptions surrounding sexual assault.
Keith Bradley, MOCSA's education specialist, says when he hears stories about sexual assault happening either locally or nationally, he can't help but wonder if anybody told those boys that it's not okay to sexually assault someone, even if, for example, the victim has been drinking.
"They'll say, 'Well my buddy jokes about rape all the time and it's no big deal,'" Bradley explained. "Yet, after I speak with them they've heard somebody talking about the momentous impacts and that gives them a something to wrestle with."
MOCSA program coordinator Melanie Austin says the biggest step is being able to talk about sensitive topics like rape. "It's time. It's time to talk about sexual violence and it's time to prevent sexual violence. It's time to prevent abuse from happening," she elaborated.
The MOCSA group will be talking to the boys during their health class.
They also say the boys are surprisingly happy to talk about these topics because it's really the only opportunity they have to talk candidly with someone who they don't have to see on a daily basis like a parent or teacher.
Bradley added that a lot of men and boys will never rape or sexually assault a woman but, "a lot of them don't know what to do about it if they merely see it or know it is happening. If we can get one guy to step up, statistics show many more guys are likely to step up with him."