MANifest Change empowers bystanders to prevent 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. Draw-the-line.ca provides examples of situations that involve harassment, abuse or assault.
If you witness a situation of potential gender-based violence, 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.
An effective action is one that increases the choices of the person who is being harassed, abused or assaulted. Remember that they may not choose to accept your help at this time - your job is simply to offer them options. Our MANifest Change Active Bystander Skills workshop presents common scenarios of gender-based violence and helps you learn to respond effectively.
You don't have to wait until a situation of gender-based violence arises in order to act. Active bystanders can
- Speak out against sexist jokes and behaviours.
- Challenge the idea that survivors are somehow responsible for the violence they experience - have a look at our Victim Blaming Bingo card to get you started.
- 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.
- Help build a community where sexist and violent behavior is not tolerated.
- Model positive masculinity to younger men.
- Donate time or money to an organization responding to the needs of women experiencing violence.