What can men do to prevent violence against women?
posted on December 5, 2017
December 6th is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. This is a day of reflection that asks every person across the country to recognize the impact violence against women has on every facet of our society.
Men’s roles in acting against the continuation of gender based violence are varied and start in the home. As a father, talking to your sons about the importance of equality and treating women with respect will go a long way to putting an end to the normalization of different kinds of sexual harassment and abuse.
It Starts With You is an organization that reminds men to “reach out to the boys in [their lives] and motivate them to build healthy equal relationships.” Having a strong male role model who leads by example by treating women with respect, standing up against sexist language regardless of the setting, and talking to the boys they mentor to ensure they do the same, is a powerful means of countering violence against women in all its forms.
Likewise, the organization White Ribbon asks that men take “a pledge not to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls.” By wearing a white ribbon on December 6th, men send a visual signal of solidarity in remembrance and a commitment to ending the cycle of violence against women in our society. White Ribbon also gives concrete examples of how men can take action in their everyday lives to confront examples of abuse and violence being discussed between other men through their Say Something Initiative.
White Ribbon is also involved in a variety of education and awareness campaigns which are concerned with getting away from outdated and dangerous conceptions of masculinity. In re-framing men’s role in these initiatives as one of participation and solidarity, they recognize that violence and abuse against women and girls is a cyclical, socially determined concept that hurts everyone, including men, and that can be prevented through education.
These are just a few of the tools and resources available for men who want to make a difference in the lives of women and girls. By remembering, recognizing and taking direct action to counter the normalization of violence and harassment perpetrated against women, men can be a part of the greater solution and help end the cycle today, to ensure a better future for girls everywhere.
If there is a woman in your life who needs help, consider following this link to Shelter Safe’s website to see what resources are available in your area. If anyone you know, is in immediate danger, it is important that you call 911.
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