Take the pledge to:
On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States. Silence and lack of knowledge about these problems play a large part in why domestic and sexual violence continue to persist. Understanding the warning signs or red flags for domestic violence, sexual assault and abuse is a critical first step in addressing and preventing these crimes.
Did you know that 65% of victims who come forward to someone say that no one helped them? If someone discloses that they have or are being abused let them know that the abuse is not their fault. It may be difficult for them to talk about the abuse but you don’t need to be an expert, you just need to be a friend. Reassure them that they are not alone, they are not to blame for what happened and that there is help and support out there. Help them find local resources to support their needs and safety, and provide them with the appropriate hotline info but ultimately, respect their decision and be patient. Healing from trauma is lifelong journey.
Challenge yourself and others to not use language or expressions that denigrate women and girls (“you throw like a girl”) or tease men and boys for not being “manly” enough (“man up”). Speak up to let others know that their comments are limiting and offensive and have no place on the playing field, in the classroom, at work or in our homes. Challenge comments that blame the victim for what has happened to them by letting your friends know that blaming the victim is inappropriate and offensive and encouraging them to consider why society questions the victim’s behavior rather than the perpetrator’s behavior. Learn how you can safely step in and speak up when you’re witnessing behavior that may put someone in danger.
Donate your time or funds to help support local domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers and violence prevention programs. Host a fundraiser at your school, church, or community center where others can learn about these issues but also give financial support non-profit programs that help victims overcome trauma.