Consultant dispels myths about rape

Todd Denney talks to students about misconceptions of rape.

Todd Denney talks to students about misconceptions of rape.

Auriel Brown

“Sexual Aggression 101” was the lesson for the evening in Taylor Performing Arts Center.

Todd Denney, educational consultant, addressed Missouri Southern students about the misconceptions about date rape, causes of date rape and ways of prevention.

Denney’s workshop included music and storytelling to encourage student involvement.

“Acquaintance rape is a huge problem,” Denney said. “One in three women will be the victim of a rape or an attempted rape.”

Denney said he took a strong interest in the topic when he did an internship at a rape relief domestic violence shelter his senior year in college.

“It wasn’t a plan,” he said “I just believe things happen for a reason.”

Denney said he found one of the major problems with rape is the misconception of the stranger in the dark alley jumping out and attacking a female, when the most common attacker is someone the victim knows.

Denney said people have the tendency to believe females who drink, dress provocatively and are perceived to be easy are somewhat deserving of a sexual attack.

“Alcohol is involved in 90 percent of rapes,” he said.

Denney’s workshop hit home with one of the audience members.

Angie Martin, freshman international business and business management major, spoke of her own personal experience as rape victim.

“I was drugged at a bar, and then he followed me home in the same cab I was taking.” Martin said. “I could barely walk, and he followed me into my apartment.”

Martin said she remembered falling in and out of consciousness as the attack occurred.

After her attack she went to the authorities in order to press charges. She said she felt she was treated more like a criminal than a victim.

“The detective told me that women have affairs all the time and feel guilty about it later,” Martin said.

Martin said she felt Denney was informative and made some obvious points about date rape people do not know about.

Kelley Wilson, director of the Student Support Center, said she liked Denney’s style of presentation and students would be welcoming to it.

“His knowledge base is very valid.” Wilson said.

Denney has appeared on “Entertainment Tonight” and was featured in a televised documentary titled “Date Rape : A Different Set of Rules.”

Denney has also created Men’s Violence Prevention programs at Evergreen State College, the University of Illinois and Eastern Washington University.