Understand Your Role
Here are some things you can do, on both personal and community levels, to help prevent domestic violence and sexual assault.
On a Personal Level:
- Believe survivors.
- Don’t blame victims.
- Educate yourself on violence against women by learning the facts and the prevalence. For example, did you know most sex offenders aren’t strangers? Eighty-six percent of abusers are known by their victim. For more facts and statistics, click here.
- Learn how to take action if you witness a violent act against a friend or neighbor. While it can be a scary or awkward situation, the difference between not doing anything and doing something could mean the difference between life and death.
- Hold your friends accountable when they disrespect women and girls.
- Engage others in discussions about violence against women.
- Speak out against racist, sexist or homophobic jokes.
- Avoid engaging in, supporting or encouraging sexual harassment.
- Applaud others who speak out against violence and oppression.
- Reconsider spanking or hitting your children.
- Teach kids that respect is the minimum in a relationship and lead by example. Let them know what is acceptable behavior and what limits are.
For Men Specifically:
- Choose your words carefully and respectfully when speaking of women in your life.
- Show your strength by speaking up to men who are using their strength for hurting.
- Refuse to let TV, movies, music or other people define what it means to be a man for you.
- Understand that it takes more than just not being a batterer or a rapist to be a good guy.
- Treat all women and girls with respect.
- Don’t patronize sex workers or strip clubs.
- Ask every time — don’t assume you know what your partner wants.
- Get involved with HAVEN and be an example of kindness and compassion to other men.
On a Community/Government Level:
- Contact your local movie theater and ask them to display HAVEN Crisis and Support Line, 877.922.1274, on the screen during previews.
- Invite a speaker from HAVEN to your class, work or community group.
- Speak out when the media minimizes domestic violence and sexual assault.
- Make the media accountable for their actions and guide them to take reports seriously.
- Involve HAVEN in local community groups through speaking engagements, fund-raisers or volunteering projects.
- Ask the government to have funds earmarked to help combat domestic violence and sexual assault and provide treatment for those who have been abused or assaulted.