As our modern society strives toward becoming a progressive and safe environment, the problem of domestic abuse still occurs. Every year, tens of thousands of women and girls are victims of gender-based violent crimes. Even with all of the changes in our laws and in the public’s awareness, men’s violence against women is still common. So, how do we prevent male violence upon women from becoming so normalized?
One way to address the issue is simple: men must not only realize how common domestic abuse is, but they must also strive to start a conversation around it. The first step to fixing a problem is knowing there is one. These are hard issues to talk about, but we can’t deny the reality of men’s violence against women. As men, we can’t remain silent and pretend that the problem doesn’t exist or that it’s not our responsibility to fix.
I think our collective silence is wrong.
Whether we’ve personally assaulted or abused a woman in our lifetimes or not, as men we have an obligation to step up and speak out. We should challenge other men on their beliefs and attitudes about women, we should be positive role models for our children and we should confront the institutions in our community to begin talking about ending gender-based violence.
As men, we need to start asking ourselves some tough questions, such as: even though I try not to be sexist, how are my experiences shaped by a sexist culture? Even though I, as a man, walk through the world without fear of being raped or assaulted by an intimate partner, how do women and girls have different experiences? Addressing these questions is the beginning of awareness and the beginning of men working to dissolve violence against women.
In many communities men are getting together, albeit in small numbers, to talk about masculinity, domestic abuse, the rape culture and how to prevent gender-based violence. Get involved for the women and girls who are being victimized. Get involved for your community. Get involved for yourself and because it’s the right thing to do!
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