You can help end domestic, sexual and dating violence.
Here are a few ideas on how you can make a difference in your community.
- Start by believing and supporting survivors, click here to learn more. Believe it is possible to prevent domestic abuse, dating abuse and sexual assault.
- Understand the scope of this societal problem. A good place to find information is on the website Futures Without Violence.
- Words are very powerful. We live in a society in which words are often used to demean others. When someone is viewed as inferior it becomes easier to treat them with less respect, disregard their rights and ignore their well-being. Sexist jokes and language help create a climate where forms of violence and abuse have been accepted as normal and reflect a society that has historically placed women in a second class position. Speak up when you hear this type of language.
When you hear language that demeans, degrades or devalues women and girls, try saying something as simple as:
• Did you really mean that?
• That’s sexist
• It bothered me when you said that
• I have a great sense of humor, I just don’t find that funny
• That’s disrespectful
• I find that offensive
• That’s not cool
- Don’t fund sexism. Refuse to purchase magazines, videos, video games, music or subscribe to any web site that demeans girls or women, or portrays them in a sexually degrading or abusive manner. When we support media or buy products that glorify violence against women we give permission to those who commit these crimes; we are essentially indicating this behavior is normal and tolerated by society.
- Help build awareness and promote prevention. Host a screening of the award-winning film Miss Representation or The Mask You Live In at your school, organization or home. The Women’s Center is available to facilitate discussion after viewing the film.
- Positively influence young people.
• As a school or recreational coach, you are in a unique position to influence the attitudes and behaviors of athletes on your team by using the Coaching Boys into Men Playbook in your coaching program. This program provides “teach-easy” tactics and teachable moments that illustrate ways to role model and promote healthy choices and relationships among youth.
• All adults can be role models for healthy, non-violent relationships
• Help teach young people to respect themselves and others
• Encourage young people to be 'upstanders' when it comes to bullying and unfair treatment of others.
- Join the WRCNM’s 100 Men Campaign. Your $100 contribution to this campaign helps raise essential dollars that support local families, empower individuals, and educate our community about sexual assault and domestic abuse. As a 100 Men Campaign member, your name will be published to show you are taking a public stand to end violence in our northern Michigan communities.
Remember each small action contributes to the social norms that perpetuate a culture of violence against women. Choose to be a part of a wave of change through your everyday actions.
Changing attitudes deeply imbedded in our society is a gradual process, just as with other social change movements (anti-smoking, anti-drunk driving and pro-seatbelt use). If we are to stop the behaviors that result in domestic, sexual and dating violence, it will first require a change in the attitudes and perceptions that help perpetuate this violence.