When you do work focused on creating a cultural transformation, sometimes people can ask you, “How do you know your work is having a truly long-term lasting impact on those you share with?” While our program is Evidence-Based and has been proven to produce results with audiences (based on it being fully researched by by an outside research firm), hearing directly from people many years later is still very powerful and means a lot to us.
During Mike’s travels, he is fortunate to get to meet past participants of his programs who share the impact his program has had on their lives over the years (from helping improve marriages and relationships; to people going into this line of work afterward because of the inspiration; to at least one couple who met at his program and went on to get married). To get such feedback in writing is special.
We share the following email from Cassie as a reminder to all those we work with around the world who are committed to making a positive impact – who are dedicated to reducing sexual violence. Your work every day matters. Know that while Cassie shared this about our work, the message is true of millions of people educating around the world each day.
Below is an email from Cassie that Cassie gave us consent to share with you. THANK YOU, Cassie.
I just wanted to commend you at Date Safe, especially Mike, for all of the wonderful work you are doing!
Mike visited my high school, Cedarburg High School (Cedarburg, Wisconsin), over 10 years ago. His message, powerful at the time, has stayed with me many years later.
In light of the recent #MeToo Movement (and a much longer national history of dismissing sexual assault and survivors), we still have such a long way to go in encouraging consent and breaking down gender stereotypes as they pertain to relationship dynamics.
Looking back, I think Mike, as a public speaker, was ahead of the times in promoting affirmative consent, which is not only crucial in preventing assault but also the foundation for any healthy relationship based on trust and mutual respect. Where there is intimacy, vulnerability is also required: asking, consenting, and openly communicating in a way that gives equal agency to both people involved.
On US college campuses, it’s been reported that 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted (presumably, that number is low, though, since according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, over 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault).
This isn’t an easy topic to discuss but you have done so in an inclusive way across gender, orientation, age, etc.
Future generations of young people are better off when they feel educated, equipped, and empowered to enter into loving, supportive, and consensual relationships. You have, without a doubt, played a vital role in moving the conversation forward.
Thank you again for the work that you do. It is so, so important.
Best of luck!
Author: The DATE SAFE Project