things you can do
Believe (don’t doubt) the next woman or man who reports that they have been assaulted or victimized!
- Believing is about as important a thing as you can do. Far too often women or men who are victimized face doubt, questions and collective minimizing from the people they tell. As an initial response, train yourself to believe first.
- Recognize the incredible courage and strength it takes for women or men to disclose that they have been victimized.
- Notice the ways that your doubts of her/his story only reinforces all of the rape or domestic violence myths that encourage women or men to stay silent about their victimization.
- If this is a friend or loved one, ask what they want or need from you in order to feel supported
- If this is a friend or loved one, you’re like to be very angry! Be mindful of how your anger may come across as blaming or intimidating.
Make a Visible Statement
- Put a bumper sticker on your “Stopping Rape is Men’s Work”, “Another man against violence against women.”
- Wear a T-shirt that demonstrates your commitment to ending gender-based violence.
- Talk with five people about why you are making a public statement, and you’re taking a stand to end rape and domestic violence.
- Put a yard sign up in your front yard.
Confront the next 10 comments that you hear that minimize rape/domestic violence, dating violence or some other form of violence against women or girls.
- “When you make comments like that, you make it easier for someone who hears you to decide to be violent against women or girls.”
- “My sister (friend, room-mate, best friend, mother, aunt…) was abused just like you’re talking about. I can tell you, what you’re saying is totally bogus.”
- “Rape (or domestic violence, dating violence, sexual harassment, etc.) is a serious problem for our community and it has long-lasting negative health consequences for the people who are victimized. It IS a serious issue to me.”
- “Because of the threat of violence, women and girls have to limit their lives and options. This is serious!”
- “Domestic violence (rape, sexual harassment, etc.) is no joke!?”
- When you make comments like that, you make it harder for women or men who have been abused/victimized to reach out and get the help they deserve.”
- “Making comments like that just show how insensitive(________) you are.”
Challenge 10 people who blame victims!
- “Women are never at fault when someone else chooses to hurt them.”
- “So you’re saying that because she was wearing a short skirt she “asked for it?” So if you’re wearing an expensive suit your asking to be mugged, or if you drive an expensive car, you’re asking to be car jacked?”
- “I don’t agree.”
- “I don’t think she “asked for it” just because she had too much to drink (or agreed to go to his room, or whatever…). IF she was ‘stupid” by doing what she did, being raped seems like a pretty extreme penalty.
- “You know, there are a lot of really complicated reasons why women might choose to stay with men who are abusing them. Haven’t you ever stayed in a relationship with someone even tho you knew being with them wasn’t good for you?
- “The real question isn’t why did she stay, the real question is why does he think it’s okay to hit her?
Donate to your local domestic violence agency or rape crisis center (click here to support Own It)
- Ask your friends to donate.
- Organize a house party and ask each friend who attends to bring $10.
- Talk with your business about hosting a “dress down day” in support of Own It, and ask each co-worker who dresses down to pay $10 to support Own It and our efforts.
Attend 10 events (over the next year) to take action against violence against women
- “Wear purple day” is usually in October — this is a great opportunity to wear your “purple with your pink” ties.
- Lobby days occur in February (contact Own It, KDVA – www.kdva.org, or KASAP – www.kasap.org)
- Denim Day occurs in March (contact the Center for Women and Families)
- Take Back the Night is usually in early April (for more information, go to www.louisville.edu/peacc).
Learn More/Get Involved
This just a small list of ideas of what you can do. There are countless other ways you can be show your support to end violence against women and girls – both as an individual and in your groups or organizations. By joining Own It, you can be part of a community of men and women working to get more men more involved.
Be a part of the solution!
Become part of the Own It Initiative (here’s how…)