It Only Takes One Person
You have options when it comes to stopping sexual violence. It’s important to remember that even when it is hard, there is always something you can do. By taking a stand, you can help stop sexual violence in your community. Just remember you have the Three D’s*
1. You can be DIRECT.
Walk up and intervene. Respectfully ask that the offender stop the behavior and explain to them why it’s wrong.
2. You can DISTRACT.
Use a diversion to stop the behavior. Walk up and ask for directions or ask for the time. If it’s someone you know, talk about something you have in common with them.
3. You can DELEGATE.
Ask a friend, use the buddy system or call your local authorities to stop the behavior.
Most important, safety first. If you ever feel that there is immediate physical danger to yourself or the victim, you should dial 911.
If everyone does their small part, we can help prevent sexual violence of any kind. Spread the word with these downloadable brochures:
* Edwards (2009), Green Dot Violence Prevention Strategy, www.livethegreendot.com
What else can you do?
Learn to recognize sexual assault.
Whether it’s a sexist joke, harassing someone because of their sexual orientation, groping or an act of rape, it’s sexual violence. We all should know how to recognize sexual assault.
Know what a healthy relationship looks like.
Healthy relationships are based on mutual trust and respect, and when it comes to sex, it should always be between consenting adults. You should be able to communicate your needs and desires clearly and have them be respected by your partner at all times.
Make and encourage smart and safe decisions.
Whether it’s staying away from drugs and alcohol when you’re thinking about having sex, going out in a group and making sure that you watch over your friends, making smart and safe choices is not only for you, it’s for those around you. Talk to your family and friends about making smart and safe decisions.
Don’t give in to behavior that objectifies others and promotes negative stereotypes.
Sometimes going against behaviors that are hurtful to others is difficult. It’s important to us that we are “one of the gang,” so it’s always easier to go along with your friends rather than speak out. But when you hear or see something that you know is inappropriate or hurts another person, it’s important that you don’t participate. And it’s just as important that you stop what’s going on.
Be an engaged bystander.
An engaged bystander is a person who recognizes sexual violence when it happens and takes action to stop it. It’s not always the easiest thing to do. We worry about what others will think of us, it sometimes can be embarrassing to speak up, and too often we leave it up to someone else. But whether it’s walking up and stopping the violence, asking a friend you’re with to jump in or perhaps by just distracting someone, we all have to decide how we will speak up against sexual violence. Now ask yourself, what will you do?