Sexual violence can be prevented. Every person can work to prevent sexual violence by promoting healthy and positive relationships that are based on respect, safety, and equality.
Every person has the ability show others how to be respectful. This can be as simple as privately asking a friend not to make hurtful or uncomfortable comments about rape or sexual assault or as public as safely getting involved during an argument or conflict. Taking action in some way, shape, or form begins to change the thoughts and behaviors of a community.
For example, a friend of your family makes “jokes” or comments about a high-profile case of sexual assault. They make it seem like it’s the victim’s fault. In this situation, you could:
- Share the information you know about sexual violence and say that it is never the victim’s fault.
- Ask respectful questions about the person’s attitude. Why do they feel that way? Maybe having a discussion could change their attitude or belief.
- Tell them those comments are not appreciated in your home/workplace/presence and you would like it if they stop.
These small actions can create a big change.