You have options when it comes to stopping sexual violence. It’s important to remember that even when it is hard, there is always something you can do. By taking a stand, you can help stop sexual violence in your community. Just remember you have the Three D’s*:
Always remember that your safety comes first. If you ever feel that there is immediate physical danger to yourself or the victim, you should dial 911.
*Edwards (2009), Green Dot Violence Prevention Strategy
Whether it’s a sexist joke, harassing someone because of their sexual orientation, groping or an act of rape, it’s sexual violence. We all should know how to recognize sexual violence when we see it.
Healthy relationships are based on mutual trust and respect, and when it comes to sex, it should always be between consenting adults. You should be able to communicate your needs and desires clearly and have them be respected by your partner at all times. To learn more about healthy relationships, check out MCASA’s brochure on Healthy Relationships Throughout Life.
Sometimes going against behaviors that are hurtful to others is difficult. It’s important to us that we are “one of the gang,” so it’s always easier to go along with your friends rather than speak out. But when you hear or see something that you know is inappropriate or hurts another person, it’s important that you don’t participate. And it’s just as important that you stop what’s going on.
An engaged bystander is a person who recognizes sexual violence when it happens and takes action to stop it. It’s not always the easiest thing to do. We worry about what others will think of us, it sometimes can be embarrassing to speak up, and too often we leave it up to someone else. But whether it’s walking up and stopping the violence, asking a friend you’re with to jump in or perhaps just distracting someone, we all have to decide how we will speak up against sexual violence. Now ask yourself: what will you do?