Holly and Rodney Peete have a message to share with their fellow parents ― particularly those who have sons, like they do: Make sure you talk to your boys about consent.
“The concept of consent and letting your boys know when they can and when they cannot pursue a sexual encounter is very, very important,” Holly says. “These are things you have to talk to your boys about long before they go to college.”
The talk must be direct ― “No means no at any time,” Rodney says ― and must also address how to navigate the complicated situations that can arise on any campus.
“It’s all compounded with alcohol and partying and just this notion that when guys go to college, you kind of go there to have your big, fun, ‘Animal House’ kind of parties,” Holly says. “It’s just a really, really scary situation… You can’t mess around with this stuff.”
Amid the drinking and peer pressure, the Peetes urge their children to be their own person.
“You know, you hear these stories about these things happening with three or four guys with one woman,” Holly says. “Our sons need to be the guy that steps in and goes, ‘All you guys are wrong, and this can’t be.’”
“Be the leader in the group,” Rodney adds. “Do what’s right.”
The Peete’s docu-series, “For Peete’s Sake,” airs Saturday nights at 10 p.m. ET on OWN.
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.