What can I do?

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.

Ask yourself:

  • 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.

And finally…

  • 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.