Today is Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
These five actions are things anyone can do to end violence against women and are provided by the lakecity’s Violence Awareness and Prevention Committee and the Women’s Contact Society.
1. Listen to women and believe them. It is extremely rare for a woman to make up a story about violence. You may be the first and only person she tells.
Believe her and support her decisions, without being judgmental.
2. Make violence your business. Keeping violence against women private helps no one.
If you believe that someone is being abused — ask them. They might not tell you right away, but it will send a signal that you are someone they can trust. Don’t put yourself in danger by intervening in a violent situation. Call the police.
3. Raise non-violent children. Talk to the children in your life about violence. Help them find non-violent ways of resolving conflict.
4. Help girls protect themselves. Help the girls in your life develop confidence and strong self-esteem.
Let them know they’re important as individuals — in or out of a relationship.
Talk frankly to them about sex and dating, stressing respect and their right to choose.
5. Encourage people who commit violence to get help.
Don’t judge. Let them know their behaviour is unacceptable and that there are counsellors and support groups to help them change.