Strategies Men Can Use to Help End Violence Against Women.
- Reject any form of violence against women and children.
- Refuse to use any form of violence against women — physical, sexual or emotional.
- Talk with other men about male violence against women.
- Educate yourself about how men are raised and how this helps create a culture where rape and domestic violence are possible.
- Interrupt sexist jokes and comments.
- Support laws that encourage men to take responsibility for ending rape and domestic violence.
- Listen to women’s fears and concerns about their safety.
- Challenge images of violence against women in advertising, pornography, movies, art and music.
- Encourage and support women in their efforts to be strong and powerful.
- Recognize that cooperation is power.
- Change whatever you are doing that helps create a culture where rape and domestic violence are possible.
- Support men and women working to end violence against women.
- Be an ally for women by not participating in sexist behavior which objectifies and stereotypes women.
- Educate yourself, your children, friends and family about the realities of rape and domestic violence.
- ALWAYS get consent before engaging in sex. Don’t use drugs or alcohol to get someone to have sex with you.
- Volunteer with programs that work to end violence against women.
- Believe women when they share their stories of rape and domestic violence.
Guidelines For Helping a Survivor
- Do most of the listening (not talking).
- Ask (instead of telling).
- Offer resources and information (instead of giving advice).
How To Talk To A Survivor
- Keep it confidential. Don’t tell other people without the person’s permission.
- Listen. Encourage the person to express her/his feelings about the violence, including feelings of anger, shame, fear, guilt and confusion.
- Believe. Let the person know that you believe her/him and that partner violence and/or rape/sexual assault is unacceptable to you. Remember, no matter how horrible the situation sounds, survivors are more likely to minimize the violence rather than exaggerate it.
- Don’t minimize. Acknowledge the validity of these complex feelings and do not deny or minimize any of her/his feelings.
- Do not judge. Strongly communicate to the person that you do not blame her/him for the domestic violence/rape. Let the survivor know that it is NOT her/his fault.
- Avoid giving advice. You may actually increase the danger the person is facing by giving advice that is actually unsafe. As well, part of the process of leaving an abusive relationship and/or dealing with rape/sexual assault is being able to make personal decisions. Rather than giving advice or making decisions for the survivor, provide support, information and referrals.
- Provide support. Tell the person that she/he is not alone and that she/he has your support and the support of your university. Offer supportive messages such as:
I am concerned for your safety.
No one deserves to be abused and/or raped.
Help is available.
- Express your admiration. Acknowledge the courage it takes to talk about partner violence and/or sexual assault, and let the survivor know that she/he is breaking down a wall of silence.
Source: Karen Wilson. Training Program (2003).