Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape Discusses Ben Roethlisberger Rape Allegations

Aug 26, 2010, 14:24 ET from Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape

ENOLA, Pa., Aug. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and Dr. Jackson Katz, creator and co-founder of the Mentors in Violence Prevention program, have partnered to work with football coaches across the Commonwealth to educate student-athletes on sexual violence issues regarding the Ben Roethlisberger rape allegations.

Each of the state's school districts has received a series of talking points designed to help coaches talk to their players about respectful conduct in their relations with girls and other boys, and other issues raised in the Roethlisberger case.

"Simply stated, this is an opportunity for coaches to talk to student-athletes about sexual assault prevention – and the respectful treatment of women more generally," Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape Executive Director Delilah Rumburg said.  

It is also an opportunity to relate what's happened to a superstar NFL player — through his own actions — and ensure that student-athletes understand that they are expected to act responsibly, and demonstrate good character, both on and off the field.

"Coaches play a critical role as teachers and mentors to the young men who look to them for leadership," Katz said.  "The Roethlisberger situation is one of those 'teachable moments' where coaches can send a strong message to young men that treating women with respect -- and speaking up if their friends or teammates are not doing so -- is not in any sense a sign of weakness but rather something that strong men do."

The Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program is the leading sexual and domestic violence prevention initiative in college and professional athletics.  Katz—an educator, author and filmmaker—is internationally recognized for his groundbreaking work in the field of gender violence prevention education with men and boys, particularly in the sports culture and the military.

PCAR is the oldest and largest state anti-sexual violence coalition in the U.S. The organization represents 51 sexual assault centers that serve all of the Commonwealth's 67 counties. Each year, these centers provide confidential services, at no charge, to more than 21,000 victims of sexual abuse.  

SOURCE Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape