5 Things We Can All Do to Stop Violence Against Women

1. Consider what you would do if you witnessed a woman being threatened or assaulted.

If you see a woman being threatened or assaulted, you don't have to stand by and do nothing. Based on what you see, you may be able to defuse the situation by approaching the woman, perhaps along with others, and asking her if she is alright and whether she needs help. If you have concerns about your safety and that of the woman being harassed, you should call 911 and get the police involved.

2. Wherever there's drinking, always be thinking.

Taking advantage of a woman who's had too much to drink is wrong. It is a crime to have sexual contact with a person without her voluntary consent. If you see a woman in a vulnerable situation, offer to help her get home safe. Speak up if any friend, or stranger, tries to 'score' with a woman who's had too much to drink.

3. Suspect a friend is being abused? Talk to her about it.

If you have a female friend who you suspect is being physically or emotionally abused by her partner or an ex, ask her about it. She may feel helpless, but a friend breaking the silence may be just what she needs to start getting help.

4. Suspect a friend is being abusive? Talk to him about it.

If you have a male friend who you suspect is physically or emotionally abusing a woman, get him alone and calmly tell him you value his friendship but you're troubled by his behaviour. Let him know that non-consensual physical or sexual contact, even in a relationship, is a crime. This may support him to see that what he is doing is wrong. It doesn't have to mean the end of your friendship.

5. Don't like abusive and derogatory language about women? Speak up!

Abusive language about women in general, or talk that cruelly demeans a specific woman or women, often occurs in social situations or online. You can object to this behaviour in a non-confrontational way just by saying, or posting, "It's just wrong to talk about women that way. Stop it." Do the right thing. You may be surprised by how many of your friends agree with you and were just waiting for someone to speak up.

Date modified: