“There is one universal truth, applicable to all countries, cultures and communities: violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable.” – Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General
We all have a responsibility to end violence against women and girls. Here are few simple and important things that we can all do to promote safety of women and girls.
- Tell people that violence against women and girls is never OK.
- If you suspect that a woman close to you is being abused, listen to and support her. Tell her there are people who want to help. In Australia, phone the 24/7 hotline 1800RESPECT or visit https://www.1800respect.org.au/
- Believe women when they tell you they’ve been raped or abused. Don’t ask about their behaviour and what they were wearing. Listen to what they say without judging them. Women never ask for nor deserve to be raped or abused.
- Learn about violence against women and girls and what causes it. Your education is a tool to end it.
- Remember that silence is affirming. When we choose not to speak out about violence against women (or any other injustice) we are supporting it
- Encourage and support those people in your community working to end all forms of violence against women and girls.
- Talk to family and community members about how violence and fear of violence affect the daily lives of women and girls. Talk about how you can support each other to help end violence.
- Make your home violence-free. Children who have witnessed or suffered from gender-based violence are more likely to become victims and abusers later in life.
- Raise your sons and daughters to be equal and teach them that there is nothing that boys can do that girls cannot.
- Volunteer to work with violence against women and girls prevention programs in your community.
- Share decision-making with women in your life. Discuss things with your partner and respect your partner’s opinions.
- If you are angry, count to 10 before reacting to something you hear or see.
- If a brother, friend, colleague, classmate or teammate is disrespectful to or is abusing a woman or a girl, do not look the other way — instead, find a way to talk about it with them.
- Words are very powerful, especially when spoken by people with power over others. Don’t use disrespectful words.