IMPACT

Waterloo's Sigma Chi Fraternity Speaks Out On Sexual Assault

03/03/2015 04:49 EST | Updated 03/05/2015 01:59 EST

A fraternity chapter at the University of Waterloo (UW) has joined the fight against sexual assault.

CBC News reported this week on a public service announcement posted by the Theta Psi chapter of international fraternity Sigma Chi to YouTube that implores men to "break the silence" around sex assault.

The video, posted to the sharing site in November, encouraged people to call out friends when they say things that are inappropriate; to show support for survivors; and to make sure their personal actions do "not propagate sexual assault or rape culture."

The chapter made the video after seeing another one produced by the White House, which had tapped celebrities such as U.S. President Barack Obama and actor Daniel Craig to speak out against sexual assault, the Waterloo Chronicle reported in December.

"What’s on TV is TV, it doesn’t show the whole image or the whole truth (about fraternities)," member Andrew Smith said. "Yes we have parties, but that's not the whole aspect."

The chapter hosted a workshop on sexual assault that taught them about how to recognize it, and encourage people to discuss the issue.

Sigma Chi members consulted women studying sexuality to ensure they communicated their message correctly, said CBC News.

Research shows that it's a message fraternities ought to take to heart.

A 2007 study out of the U.S. found that men in fraternities were three times more likely to carry out sexual assault than any other males on college campuses, CNN reported.

It was the third time a study had shown fraternity members were three times more likely to rape, study co-author John Foubert said. He went on to explain that an initiative called the "Men's Program," which educates people about sexual assault, can help lead to fewer incidents.

But Foubert also said that national fraternities are less interested in taking on such a program, and instead "pretend they aren't responsible."

"We know that prevention programming can help a great deal," he wrote. "We just need to make it a priority. How difficult is that?"

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