Men play a crucial role in ending violence against women. You can be a role model for other men and boys if you take action.
Protecting women and girls from men’s violence should be every man’s business. There is a growing awareness that men, in partnership with women, can play a significant role in ending violence against women.
In most societies, men have more power and higher status than women. This puts women in a disadvantaged position to men, creating social and cultural conditions where men’s violence against women is tolerated and even accepted.
Men have the power to work to change the social and cultural conditions that contribute to men’s violence against women. They can decide to treat women well and encourage other men to do the same.
Below, I share a list from Voices of Men of 10 things men can do to actively take a stand against violence against women.
1.Break out of the Man Box by challenging traditional images that of manhood that keep you from taking a stand.
2.Ask how you can help if you suspect abuse or an assault. And if you are abusing others in any way, stop and seek professional help immediately.
3.No means No.
Teach your children that “NO” means “NO” and that “STOP” means “STOP.”
4. Don’t buy the argument that sexual and domestic violence are due to mental illness, lack of anger management skills, chemical dependency, stress or other excuses.
5. Stand UP & Speak OUT.
Silence affirms and supports sexual and domestic violence.
6. LOOK in the mirror.
DO your own attitudes and actions help support the objectification and devaluing of women and girls?
7. Be a MODEL for youth.
Mentor a boy. Teach boys with your words and actions that being a man means respecting women.
8. Educate yourself.
Listen to and learn from women. Attend programs and events and learn how to end domestic violence and sexual assault.
9. Step to create a culture shift that doesn’t tolerate disrespecting or degradation of women. Make this a MEN’S ISSUE.
10. Host a video discussion or presenter through work, school, church, service club or sports team.
Take a stand today and commit to building healthy and respectful relationships. It’s time we put an end to all forms of violence against women and step up as a safe and healthy community for all.
If you or someone you know needs immediate assistance, please call these helplines.
Edith is a creative writer, social science researcher, speaker and a civic change advocate.
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