12 things you can do to help end sexual violence

Young couples in the countryIt’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month! Here are 12 ways you can be a part of the solution, no matter who you are:

 

 

 

  1. Educate yourself about how to prevent and respond to sexual violence. You can start at www.dayoneri.org.
  2. Speak out against attitudes and behaviors that contribute to a culture where violence against women is condoned and often encouraged.
  3. Men: Mentor and teach young boys about how to be men in ways that don’t involve degrading or abusing girls and women.
  4. Encourage young people to use non-violent means to resolve conflict and learn strategies of cooperation and collaboration.
  5. Believe and support victims of sexual assault. Show survivors that you hold offenders, not victims, accountable for their crime.
  6. There are no innocent bystanders. Speak up and challenge those who would commit acts of sexual violence.
  7. Support organizations, like Day One, that provide services to sexual assault victims.
  8. Dispel the myths surrounding sexual assault that put the burden of responsibility on the victim and excuses the offender.
  9. Parents: Take responsibility to talk to your children about sex and healthy relationships and be aware of the negative influences in our culture (music, radio/TV, movies, internet) that tend to demean and devalue women and girls.
  10. Make sure your institution (school, organization or business) has policies, practices and procedures relating to sexual harassment.
  11. Challenge gender roles that place girls and women at risk. Teaching girls to always put others first or be polite at all costs can put them in danger. Teaching boys to be aggressive also puts them at-risk for perpetration.
  12. Violence against women is a choice. Hold those who make that choice accountable.

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