TIPS FOR INDIVIDUALS
Even one person can make a difference in preventing or stopping violence.
- Believe that rape, dating violence and stalking is unacceptable and say it out loud. Challenge people who make comments or jokes that promote victim blaming or support abusers.
- Understand all people can be victims regardless of sex, gender identity, culture, social class, and/or religion.
- Pay attention to what is going on around you. Interpret what you are observing and don’t assume someone else will do something – instead, assume personal responsibility by making a choice to do something to help that person.
- When you witness harassing, hurtful behavior, don’t just watch but don’t put yourself in harm’s way either – realize you still have choices to help. Maintain a safe distance. Help the victim get away or try to distract the abuser by drawing attention away from the victim. Call for help if possible.
- Take a stand and tell someone who is bullying to stop spreading rumors, gossiping, making fun of or laughing at someone. You can try saying things like:
- “Leave them alone.”
- “Cut it out.”
- “Believe what you want.”
- “What you said earlier really bothered me.”
- “I don’t like what you just did.”
- “I wonder if you realize how that feels/comes across.”
- Turn inaction and apathy into support. Use words showing support for the victim, with statements like… “Do you need help?” “Can I walk you home?” “Are you alright?” “Do you want me to call someone for you?” “What can I do to help you?”
- Make a personal commitment to stop violent behavior: “I will do something, since the person involved is someone I care about.” “I will do something, since someone helped me once.” “I will do something because I would want someone to do that for me.” “I will do something since I know they are drunk and I want to be sure no one gets hurt.”
- Research organizations in your community, your state or across the U.S. that offer educational materials about violence prevention, then share those materials with your friends, classmates, parents, teachers, faith leaders, employers, and policy makers. These materials may be in the form of brochures, wallet size cards, or posters. During an awareness month, organize a group of people to display these materials where the public frequently visits such as a public library, restaurants, convention center, and faith-based organizations.
- Add a violence prevention or bystander intervention message on your email signature about promoting action to end rape, partner abuse, and stalking.
- Begin a conversation with a coworker about the importance of getting involved in prevention efforts in the workplace.
- Donate a few dollars to a local domestic and sexual violence advocacy organization.
- Visit the resource section on this website to review all the organizations that provide assistance to individuals who are experiencing violence. Call or text crisis helplines and visit with an advocate to learn ways to support the person you care about.