Approach gender violence as a man’s issue, involving men of all socioeconomic and racial backgrounds. View men not only as perpetrators or potential offenders, but as empowered bystanders who can confront abusive peers. If a brother, a friend, a classmate or a teammate is abusing his female partner or is abusive to females in general, don’t look the other way. Have the courage to look inward. Understand how your own attitudes and actions may perpetuate sexism and violence, and work to change them. If you suspect that a woman close to you is being abused or has been sexually assaulted, gently ask if you can help. Be an ally to women who are working to end all forms of gender violence. Recognize and speak out against homophobia and gay bashing. Discrimination against lesbians and gays is wrong. This abuse also has direct links to sexism. Men who speak out against sexism are often subject to homophobia which is one reason so few men do so. Attend programs, take courses and read about masculinity, gender inequality and the root causes of gender violence. Educate yourself and others about how larger social forces affect the conflicts between individual men and women. Don’t fund sexism. Refuse to purchase any magazine, see any movie or buy any music that portrays women in a sexually degrading or violent manner. Protest sexism in the media. Mentor and teach young boys about how to be men in ways that don’t involve degrading or abusing girls and women. Lead by example. Adapted from Jackson Katz.
For additional information on what men can do to end domestic violence, see: Tony Porter’s website: A Call to Men.