This month, we're exploring ways to #ShowYouCare about those around you. Today Jennifer Cassetta's guest blog addresses the topic of gender-based violence.
As a nation, we are just beginning to open up the conversations around gender equality and gender-based violence. These are often topics that we prefer to think don’t really exist in a country as developed and advanced as ours. However, it couldn’t be farther from the truth. 1 in 5 American women will be the victim of a sexual assault in their lifetime and countless others will be the victim of other kinds of violence as well.
The good news is, more and more, the media is opening a dialogue for women and men to take a stand against gender equality and violence against women. Even President Obama is making this a priority in his messaging, announcing the #ItsOnUs campaign during the Grammy’s broadcast.
So, if you want to show you care about gender equality and take a stand against gender-based violence, here are some simple ways you can do just that:
- Don't be an adult bully.
Bullying doesn’t just happen on the playground. It happens in a corporate office, at the family dinner table, at bars and online. Adult bullies tease excessively, humiliate people, call names, and put people down in the secret hopes that they will be seen as bigger, stronger and better than others. If you find yourself gossiping, teasing, or putting someone down, stop yourself and instead lift that person (or groups of people) up. Don’t focus on your differences but instead on what you have in common.
- Speak up for potential victims.
When you see someone else who is falling victim to an adult bully, stand up for that person, or group of people. Give a voice to the voiceless and to those too scared or vulnerable to fight back. See a girl at a bar who had too many drinks and may be a potential target for a predator? See to it that she gets home safely.
Guys – here’s your chance to jump in on the social media goodwill train. Have positive thoughts on how you or other men can support gender equality? Send a tweet, write a blog or share a picture on Instagram on how you are pro Feminist. Offline, you can be the guy who sees violence against a woman and steps in to stop it, like the guys at Stanford University who recently literally stopped a sexual assault act as it was occurring.
As the campaign website states...
It’s on us:
To recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault.
To identify situations in which sexual assault may occur.
To intervene in situations in where consent has not or cannot be given.
To create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.
So, you tell me, how can you use the #ItsOnUs campaign in your life?