Saskatchewan

Man Up: Regina Rams athlete tackling violence, sexual assault

The University of Regina has developed its own sexual assault and violence policy.

University of Regina defensive lineman Tyler Perkins says changes need to be made

Regina Rams defensive lineman Tyler Perkins speaks at the launch of the Man Up against Violence campaign. (Dean Gutheil/CBC)

Tyler Perkins sees a major problem all around him and a necessity to stand up against it.

The University of Regina Rams defensive lineman was part of the kickoff to the university's Man Up against Violence program.

The university has developed its own sexual assault and violence policy to prevent and respond to any sexual assault within the school community. The launch coincides with the province's violence prevention week.

A key part of the campaign is men accepting their roles as advocates in the movement toward preventing violence in their communities.

Perkins said we need to change the way we're socializing people.

They expect that I'm able to have sex with a lot of people. And it's a pressure that doesn't need to be put on me or anyone else. And I can see exactly how that leads to violence.- Tyler Perkins

"Athletes, especially male athletes, are expected to be the peak of manhood in our society," Perkins said. "They are seen as the most manly people and with that comes a lot of expectations. They're expected to womanize and that's very problematic."

For Perkins, stepping up to be an advocate for change was a no-brainer.

Man Up events will be held all week at the University of Regina. (Dean Gutheil/CBC)

"I think this is a very serious issue," he said. "The statistics are all there. It tells us the problem is there. It takes more than just a few people saying something. Everyone needs to stand up. I would be remiss if I didn't do something about it."

While not everyone is able to recognize the warning signs, Perkins said he's not turning a blind eye on campus.

"Especially in the party scene at the university, which is obviously a big thing at a lot of universities, people do, they expect sex from women," he said. "Not only that, they expect men to be having sex. They expect that I'm able to have sex with a lot of people. And it's a pressure that doesn't need to be put on me or anyone else. And I can see exactly how that leads to violence."

Events including panel discussions will be held all week at the University of Regina.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.