Men Can Stop Violence
Statistics show that most men never commit an act of rape/sexual assault, but the overwhelming majority of rapists are in fact male. Men have an important role in violence prevention. Below is a list of ways that men can stop violence.
- Be Aware of Language. We live in a society in which words often cut down, degrade and put down women. Avoid words like bitch, whore, freak, and dog. Those words send a message that females are less than human. Seeing them in such a light makes it easier to treat them without respect or to ignore their well-being.
- Communicate. Sexual violence goes hand in hand with poor sexual communication. Our own discomfort in speaking about sexual issues dramatically raises the risk of rape. Learning effective means of sexual communication, stating your desires clearly, and listening to your partner will make sex safer for both parties.
- Speak Up. You will hopefully never see a rape in progress, but you will hear jokes and language that are inappropriate and degrading to women. When a friend tells a joke about rape, tell them it is not funny. Support women who bring charges against violent men. Do not sit back and remain silent.
- Support Survivors of Violence. By learning to sensitively support the survivors in their lives, men can help both women and men feel more comfortable about coming forward and talking about what has happened to them.
- Talk with Women. If you’re willing to listen, there is much to be learned about how the “risk of being raped” affects women’s daily lives. Talk to them about it.
- Talk with Men. Talk about what it is like to be viewed as a potential rapist. Talk about the fact that 3 percent of men experience rape and 17 percent experience sexual assault in their lifetime. Talk about whether they know any survivors of rape or sexual assault.
- Join or start an organization. Being part of an organization dedicated to stopping sexual violence can start a powerful movement for both men and women. They are gaining popularity on college campuses. If you have the time and the drive, you can make a powerful difference.
- Don’t fund sexism. Refuse to purchase any magazine, rent any video, subscribe to any website, or buy any music that portrays girls and women in a sexually degrading or abusive manner. Protest sexism in all forms of media.
- Work against ALL oppression. Rape feeds off of all forms of prejudice, including racism, homophobia, and religious discrimination. By speaking out against behaviors that promote one group as being superior to another, you support everyone’s equality.
If you or someone you know experiences violence, you’re not alone. Help is available by reviewing our list of Sexual Assault Awareness Resources and Contacts.
Content for this section was adapted from The Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s IUP website.