It’s time for all of us to get off the sidelines. Take the Pledge to:
Learn about these issues and talk openly about them
On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States, that’s more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year. Educate yourself about domestic violence and sexual assault and start a conversation with a friend or family member today. Wearing the NO MORE symbol is a great conversation starter. Talking about these issues openly will help end the shame and stigma that domestic violence and sexual assault survivors are burdened with.
If someone discloses that they have or are being abused let them know that the abuse is not their fault. Reassure them that they are not alone and that there is help and support out there. It may be difficult for them to talk about the abuse. Let them know that you are available to help whenever they may need it. What they need most is someone who will believe and listen. Help them find local resources to support their needs and safety, and provide them with the appropriate hotline info. The hotlines are confidential and available 24/7. Don’t judge them if they decide to stay in an abusive situation.
Challenge yourself and others not to use language or expressions that denigrate women and girls and/or tease or harass men and boys for not being “manly” enough. Let your friends know that their comments are limiting and offensive and that they have no place on the playing field, in the classroom, at work or in our homes. Speak up against comments that blame the victim for what has happened to them. Let your friends know that blaming the victim is inappropriate and offensive. Encourage them to consider why our society questions the victim’s behavior instead of the perpetrator’s violent and abusive behavior. Learn how all of us can get off the sidelines and help prevent violence before it happens.
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.