Category : Blog
1. Challenge your beliefs about women and girls
The most important thing you can do to prevent violence against women is to start with yourself and your beliefs.
Think about the ways that your beliefs about women may be furthering oppressive attitudes. Violence against women stems from patriarchy and the belief that men are entitled to have control over women’s lives, bodies and rights. When women step outside of their designated boundaries, violence is used to control and silence them.
Think about your beliefs about women’s abilities, autonomy and rights. Do you believe women always have the right to make decisions that are right for them, for their lives and for their bodies, regardless of their age, race, sexual orientation, gender expression, religion, or ability?
If you are a man, are you aware of the power imbalances that exist in social or professional settings? Do you take care to make sure that women’s voices are amplified and heard?
Be conscious of the ways that you can hold yourself accountable and do better.
2. Recognize the importance of consent
Consent comes with true respect for women’s autonomy and bodies. Consent needs to come hand-in-hand with the elimination of the feeling of male entitlement to women’s bodies.
Educate youth to ensure they are aware of their boundaries and others’ boundaries. Teach them about their rights and how to respect others’ bodies, boundaries and rights.
3. Use social media for good
Challenge abusive and degrading language that you see online or within your social circles. Be critical of what you read online.
4. Be supportive
If women see that their friends, family, or community don’t support survivors, or hold oppressive attitudes towards women, they may think that experiencing violence is something to be ashamed about. They may think that violence enacted on them is their fault. As a result of that shame or fear, women might not speak up about violence they’re experiencing. Only the perpetrator of violence is accountable for their act of violence.
Believe women who share their stories. Offer support if they need it, but remember it is their choice and right to access support and services.
5. Consider giving to an organization that works to end violence against women.
Many organizations that work to end violence against women are not-for-profit and rely heavily on donations to keep their services in place. These organizations are more needed than ever.
If you are not able to give financially, consider volunteering for or giving an in-kind donation to a worthy organization.
When you support Dixon, you help us provide our excellent support services for women and children fleeing violence, while also helping us raise awareness about the issue and impacts of violence against women. Ensuring that the community is aware of the issue is another way that we work to prevent violence against women.