Transcript in English [237 KB]
Written by Catherine Rolfe, Fundraising & Stewardship Writer; Plan International USA
Violence that targets someone because of their gender, or gender-based violence, is a global problem. So, how can we find a solution?
You can begin by starting a conversation. Talk to your friends, family, and community members about what gender-based violence looks like, and why it’s harmful. Make sure you know where survivors can get help, such as a local police station or hospital. Survivors should be encouraged to report and not hide incidents of violence. Spread the message that survivors should not be ashamed to speak out and get help.
Boys and young men can play an especially powerful role. For example, imagine you’re walking home from school with a friend. Across the street, there’s a pretty girl. Your friend starts to call out to her, describing the sexual acts he’d like to do with her. What do you do?
The girl isn’t the only person your friend is trying to impress. He wants to prove to you that he’s a man, so he’s doing something he thinks is manly: showing aggression and demeaning women. If you don’t say anything, you’re agreeing with him.
How do you explain that you disagree with his actions? Here are some things you can say. You can say: Stop it! That’s gross. That’s disrespectful. That’s not okay. That’s not funny.
Too often, people stay silent about seeing or experiencing gender-based violence. That’s part of the reason it’s so common. When you speak up, you’re telling survivors that the violence is not their fault. And, when you talk to your friends about how they treat women, you’re standing up for what you believe in. You’re sending the message that gender-based violence is not acceptable, no matter who or where you are.
For more, visit https://yali.state.gov/4her/.