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10TV: SARNCO Leaders Respond To Decade Old Trump Tapes & Messaging

Sexual Assault Response Network Team Worries About Impact From Recording

They are words that have certainly turned the political landscape of this 2016 election on its head. A decade old recording between Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump and entertainment host Billy Bush has been made public, leaving many community members trying to figure out what it all means for the election, and for the country.

The 2005 recording of Donald Trump also sparked an explosive, and very sensitive, national conversation about sexual violence.

Susan Wismar minces no words in reacting to those of Donald Trump.

"I describe it as sexual violence, the words in and of themselves,” she said.

Wismar is the program coordinator for the Sexual Assault Response Network on Central Ohio, or SARNCO.

“These words are what form a normalization in our culture of sexual violence,” Wismar said. “When everybody is saying, this is acceptable, or this is what powerful people do, or people say these things and don't get in trouble, then why is it strange to think doing them would get you in trouble?"

She cites a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listing "risk factors" for sexual violence as an important companion to the national conversation.

According to the documentation, the CDC lists risk factors to be associated with a greater likelihood of sexual violence (SV) perpetration. They are contributing factors and might not be direct causes. Not everyone who is identified as "at risk" becomes a perpetrator of violence.

A combination of individual, relational, community, and societal factors contribute to the risk of becoming a perpetrator of SV. Understanding these multilevel factors can help identify various opportunities for prevention.

CDC conducted a systematic review of risk and protective factors for SV perpetration and identified a number of factors at the individual and relationship levels that have been consistently supported by research. However, research examining risk and protective factors for SV perpetration at the community and societal levels remains very limited. Thus, most risk factors identified at community and societal levels are theoretically-derived and based on findings from the World Health Organization’s World Report on Violence and Health (2002).

Risk Factors for Perpetration

Individual Risk Factors

  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Empathic deficits
  • General aggressiveness and acceptance of violence
  • Early sexual initiation
  • Coercive sexual fantasies
  • Preference for impersonal sex and sexual-risk taking
  • Exposure to sexually explicit media
  • Hostility towards women
  • Adherence to traditional gender role norms
  • Suicidal behavior
  • Prior sexual victimization or perpetration

Relationship Factors

  • Family environment characterized by physical violence and conflict
  • Childhood history of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse
  • Emotionally unsupportive family environment
  • Poor parent-child relationships, particularly with fathers
  • Association with sexually aggressive, hypermasculine, and delinquent peers
  • Involvement in a violent or abusive intimate relationship                                                       

Community Factors

  • Lack of employment opportunities
  • Lack of institutional support from police and judicial system
  • General tolerance of sexual violence within the community
  • Weak community sanctions against sexual violence perpetrators                                                                                                                                                                

Societal Factors

  • Societal norms that support sexual violence
  • Societal norms that support male superiority and sexual entitlement
  • Societal norms that maintain women's inferiority and sexual submissiveness
  • Weak laws and policies related to sexual violence and gender equity                                       

Wismar sees some of the risk factors from the words between 2 men more than a decade ago.

"That's a classic example of sexual entitlement,” Wismar said. “’I get to kiss them.’ And what we as a community need to do, is say, ‘No, we won't let you do anything.’"

Trump talked of the tape during the most recent debate with Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton, saying he was not proud of that, and apologized for the comments. He also said the comments were locker room talk.

"He is right that people say words that are sexually violent, and promote violence against women and demean them all the time,” Wismar said. “He himself says them on many occasions. It doesn't make them acceptable. It makes them a part of a rape culture that promotes violence against women. And he is a contributor."

As for the second person in that conversation, Billy Bush; Wismar says there is certainly something to take away from that behavior.

"We see a lot of men either complicit, passive, or in the case of Billy Bush, encouraging this behavior," she said. "We have an opportunity as a bystander to intervene and interrupt. And holding someone accountable to this language doesn't necessarily mean filing a lawsuit. It just means that you disapprove of it in the moment, that you say that's not okay, that's gross," she said. "By saying, ‘No you may not.’ And just because you're a man or you're a star or you're rich, you do get held accountable."

To read the 10TV article and watch the video, click on the logo above.

The Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio (SARNCO) is the sexual violence intervention and prevention program serving Franklin County. SARNCO strives to empower survivors and co-survivors of sexual and relationship violence and in time, to eliminate these forms of abuse through culturally appropriate prevention programming.

24-Hour Rape Helpline number: (614) 267.7020

Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) 1-(800) 656.HOPE