There are a number of things that men can do to prevent domestic violence. At the shelter we make clear that we do not believe every man is a perpetrator or violent by nature.
It is just as important that men speak out against domestic violence as it is for women
Working together to achieve equality is important. Remember how you would feel if it was your sister, your mother, your favourite aunt, or even a good friend who was being hurt, how would you react?
So what can guys do?
- You can start by mentoring kids, particularly young boys about how to be a man in a way that does not involve abusive or degrading behaviour around girls and women. Teach them about gender equality and most importantly, LEAD BY EXAMPLE. No one likes a bully.
- Educate yourself. Learn about why and how gender inequality can cause gender violence and how these cause conflicts between men and women.
- If you suspect that a woman close to you is being abused or has been sexually violated, let her know that you are there for support and ask her if there is anything you can help her with. Do this in a way that is not blunt and harsh, approach her in a gentle manor
- In the past if you have been abusive to women; whether it is psychologically, physically or sexually, it would be wise of you to seek professional help. Sometimes this can affect other relationships too. Look inward and ask yourself if your attitudes and actions might encourage sexism and violence and work on changing them.
- If you have a friend, or relative (whether it be a brother, team mate, someone at work) who is abusing their female partner or is disrespectful or abusive to women and girls in general, SPEAK UP! Confront abusive peers. If you are not comfortable talking to them by yourself, get a mutual friend to help. If you don’t know what to say, ask someone, family, friend or professional. The worst thing you can do is let it fester behind closed doors. This can be bad for your mate’s mental health and can affect his future relationships and hurt someone.
- Approach domestic violence as a MEN’S issue and be an ally to women who are working hard to end forms of gender violence. Empower the people around you; family, friends and your work (or school) network. Involve people from all cultures, races, economic status and ages to attend domestic violence rallies and public events. Raise money for your local rape crisis centres and women’s’ shelters.
Also check out our Info for friends and family page.