MANifest Change wants to empower bystanders to get involved in ending violence against women. Active bystanders can play an incredibly important role in helping to end all types of violence – from sexist jokes to physical or sexual assaults.
You may witness a situation where there is a risk for, or the presence of, violence or harassment. As an empowered bystander, you can intervene in a safe and positive way.
- Is a line being crossed?
- Does the situation require action?
- Is there a safe and positive way you can help? Note: This could mean calling on the assistance of service providers to intervene such as police, counselors, etc.
- How can you help the person facing the violence have more options? Let them choose and respect their choice.
- Take the appropriate action! Not always easy as it sounds, though, so we are big fans of Draw-the-line.ca and their ideas on how to address difficult situations. You can also book a MANifest Change workshop to increase your active bystander skills.
Below are some other examples of the sort of things an empowered bystander can do:
- Speak out against sexist jokes and behaviours.
- Build healthy relationships.
- Speak to other men and boys about the issue of violence against women. Look for ways men and boys can actively support women, rather than shaming them for violent behaviour.
- Help build a community where sexist and violent behavior is not tolerated.
- Be a role model who depicts positive masculinity.
- Donate your time or money to an organization helping to respond to the needs of women experiencing violence.