How can we prevent sexual harassment, assault and domestic violence?
Sexual assault and domestic violence are serious and pervasive health and safety issues affecting women and girls, and also boys and men. We believe that abuse is preventable and at Southwest PA Says No More, we’re focused on stopping abuse from happening. We do that by:
- Talking to young people about respect and how to recognize both healthy and unhealthy relationship behaviors.
- Challenging stereotypes about what people are supposed to be like based on their gender identity. More extreme messages about gender (for example, men as dominant, in control, unfeeling and sexually aggressive, and women as more submissive in relationships) can be a set up for abusive relationships. Specifically encouraging equitable, reciprocal relationships can prevent abuse and promote healthier relationships.
- Promoting “bystander intervention,” or encouraging individuals to speak up if they witness disrespectful or abusive behaviors.
We recognize that ending domestic and sexual violence won’t happen overnight. But as more and more people get involved in preventing abuse, and in holding offenders accountable for their behavior, we believe that organizations and individuals can have a big impact on making our region safer.