Even though a little above half of the world’s population contains two x chromosomes, there is still a plethora of ways that people perpetrate violence against women. As a responsible member of society, however, you’ve probably caught yourself wondering what, if anything, you can do to help put a stop to this issue. Unfortunately because of the way that humans exist on the world, violence against anyone– men, women, or children– will never entirely cease. However, there are little ways that you can help make an immediate difference using only yourself. The following are four ways you can help strike a blow for women’s rights.
1. Don’t victim-blame.
In general this is a sound principle by which to live; however, nowhere is this victim-blaming attitude more prevalent than the culture of rape. The way a woman dresses or acts does not entitle her to get hurt in any way, and “she was asking for it” is never an acceptable excuse. Of course, the same rules apply for victims of domestic assault. Violence is never the answer to a domestic dispute.
2. Know that inebriation does not equal consent.
There are an increasing number of states which are beginning to consider that if a person is intoxicated s/he can’t give consent, so it’s an important factor to consider whenever meeting up with a stranger. Before either you or a friend head back to your place with a date after hitting every bar in town, be sure to consider for a moment if the date is able to consent. It doesn’t matter if there have been hours of flirtation, if your date is intoxicated, he or she cannot legally consent.
3. Report violence when you see it.
Even if you’re not a police officer or other member of law enforcement, you have eyes and ears. Keep both open and pay attention to your surroundings. Provide support for friends or acquaintances that suffer from domestic abuse, and encourage them to report any violence against them. This is especially true for battered women and children.
4. Treat everybody with respect.
It may seem like it goes without saying, but everyone deserves to be treated like a person who deserves as much respect as you do. The Golden Rule still and always will apply when it comes to stopping violence against women; remembering how you would expect to be treated is key to treating others with respect.
So be a part of the solution. Make sure to do your part to keep everyone treated fairly and with respect so that as each year goes by we get closer and closer to achieving equal treatment both at-home and abroad.