Understand Your Role In Preventing Domestic Violence

haven-sexual-assault-domestic-violence-preventionHere are some things you can do, on both personal and community levels, to help prevent domestic violence and sexual assault.

On a Personal Level:

  • Believe survivors.
  • Don’t blame victims.
  • Educate yourself on violence against women by learning the facts and the prevalence. For example, did you know most sex offenders aren’t strangers? Eighty-six percent of abusers are known by their victim. For more facts and statistics, click here.
  • Learn how to take action if you witness a violent act against a friend or neighbor. While it can be a scary or awkward situation, the difference between not doing anything and doing something could mean the difference between life and death.
  • Hold your friends accountable when they disrespect women and girls.
  • Engage others in discussions about violence against women.
  • Speak out against racist, sexist or homophobic jokes.
  • Avoid engaging in, supporting or encouraging sexual harassment.
  • Applaud others who speak out against violence and oppression.
  • Reconsider spanking or hitting your children.
  • Teach kids that respect is the minimum in a relationship and lead by example. Let them know what is acceptable behavior and what limits are.

For Men Specifically:

  • Choose your words carefully and respectfully when speaking of women in your life.
  • Show your strength by speaking up to men who are using their strength for hurting.
  • Refuse to let TV, movies, music or other people define what it means to be a man for you.
  • Understand that it takes more than just not being a batterer or a rapist to be a good guy.
  • Treat all women and girls with respect.
  • Don’t patronize sex workers or strip clubs.
  • Ask every time – don’t assume you know what your partner wants.
  • Get involved with HAVEN and be an example of kindness and compassion to other men.

On a Community/Government Level:

  • Contact your local movie theater and ask them to display HAVEN’s Crisis and Support Line (877.922.1274) on the screen during previews.
  • Invite a speaker from HAVEN to your class, work or community group.
  • Speak out when the media minimizes domestic violence and sexual assault.
  • Make the media accountable for their actions and guide them to take reports seriously.
  • Involve HAVEN in local community groups through speaking engagements, fund-raisers or volunteering projects.
  • Ask the government to have funds earmarked to help combat domestic violence and sexual assault and provide treatment for those who have been abused or assaulted.

Visit HAVEN for more information.

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  1. Vista Maria is an organization dedicated to restructuring the lives of victimized girls. They are a great resource that can be very helpful for girls dealing with domestic violence. Please check out The Need on their website at http://www.vistamaria.org.

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