Messieurs.ch and Amnesty: Men stand up for "Only Yes means Yes

Shortly before the debate in parliament on the reform of sexual criminal law in Switzerland, Amnesty International has launched a campaign calling on men in particular to stand up for the "Only Yes Means Yes" solution and the protection of victims of sexualized violence. Messieurs.ch supported Amnesty in the development of the campaign.

Messieurs.ch
Debate in the campaign talk show: Remo Widmer, moderator, Denis Sorie, political activist Operation Libero and Amnesty, Elias Burkhalter, filmmaker and carpenter, Yanis Mavaki, rapper, Thomas Neumeyer, expert Männer.ch, and Josia Jourdan, journalist and content creator (from left to right).

In the digital campaign, committed men advocate for the "Only Yes Means Yes" solution. Musicians, journalists, activists and comedians speak publicly in a talk show about the responsibility of men to address and fight sexualized violence in Switzerland.

The campaign wants to reach as many men as possible and encourage them to apply the "Only Yes Means Yes" principle in every sexual relationship, to talk about it with colleagues and to speak out publicly against sexualized violence. After a broad alliance of women's rights and LGBTI+ organizations as well as numerous activists have been campaigning for several years for a modern reform of the sexual criminal law, men should also increasingly support this cause.

The decisive role of men

"For a long time, women have been inculcated to say 'no' to resist an unwanted sexual act. It's time to ask men: Get the 'yes' before any sexual contact!" says Cyrielle Huguenot, campaign officer at Amnesty Switzerland.

Recently, a Representative survey by Gfs.bern revealed that problematic views on sexual availability remain widespread, especially among men. 37 percent of the men surveyed in Switzerland consider provocative clothing and flirting to be consent to sexual intercourse. One in seven men assumes valid consent if a person is currently sleeping but otherwise always consents to sex. One in three considers it consent if the person does not actively resist the acts.

At the same time, the study shows that a large part of the population perceives sexualized violence as a widespread phenomenon and expects solutions from politics and the judiciary. The consent solution is also clearly seen by men as the best option for stronger protection of victims in sexual criminal law.

Debate enters decisive round in parliament

In 2019, 37,000 people had joined Amnesty International and other organizations in calling on Federal Councillor Karin Keller-Sutter and the Department of Justice to urgently reform protection against sexual violence. Three years after launching a broad socio-political debate, the Council of States will discuss a new consensus-based sexual criminal law in the summer session. It has before it two variants for reform before.

In a new Petition Amnesty International, together with Operation Libero and more than 25 other partner organizations, is calling for support for the "Only Yes Means Yes" solution.

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