On campus men’s circle talks toxic masculinity

Support group addresses consent and sexual violence in the community

The Kamloops Sexual Assault Counselling Centre, in conjunction with the Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Project, hosted a Men’s Circle in the multimedia room of the TRU Residence on March 15.

The men’s circle, held on the second Thursday of every month, provides a support group for men to discuss masculinity, consent and ways to take action in their communities.

Hosted by Robert Long, the program is designed to create a safe space for men to talk about subjects that males would normally try to avoid.

“I found that I wanted to be able to talk about sexualized violence, but I felt like there weren’t any spaces to do that,” Long said, explaining his motivation behind spearheading the cause.

Long added he believed that the topics of masculinity and consent are some that men learn not to talk about at an early age.

He said he believes the initiative isn’t as popular as it could be because it revolves around an uncomfortable topic.

“People are hesitant to recruit other men and it is really hard to avoid the circle being branded as a men’s campaign, rather than a male support group to try and change harmful narratives,” he said.

Long also believes that men deserve the opportunity to talk and that they have a responsibility to do so.

He said that as long as there is sexual violence and consent violations in society, men should band together to help address the issue.

“I think that there are a lot of opportunities where many men could contribute more to the equity processes,” Long added.