Creating a community free of domestic violence requires continual information sharing and dialogue. Stay connected with us through the information resources on this page and – please – share what you learn.
Easy Ways Men Can Help Combat Domestic Violence
- Be a model of positive masculinity. As a man it is your job to model to other men how to respect and love women. Young boys and men are constantly being inundated with negative images of women, ideals of the inferiority of women, and negative conceptions of women due to female portrayal in the media. It is up to individual communities and the men within to provide positive examples of how to treat and love women and children the right way.
- Don’t stay quiet, speak up! Although it is extremely important for men to be positive examples to other men and children, it is also important for these men to vocalize their ideals, morals, and why to love and respect women. Men must vocalize how respecting women is what it means to be a “real man.”
- Speak out specifically against domestic violence. At the community level domestic violence can go unnoticed. Although you may not be aware that your neighbor is physically (hyperlink to DV 101 article) abusing his partner or your friend from the office is emotionally (hyperlink to DV 101 article) and financially (hyperlink to DV 101 article) trapping his wife and children, this does not mean that it isn’t happening. Families suffering from abuse are excellent at hiding it. Even if you do not think that it is occurring in your community, starting a group against domestic violence, raising awareness, and speaking out could lead into the eventual knowledge of friends or loved ones experiencing intimate partner violence and hopefully lead to their safety.
- Challenge the stereotypes of what it means to be a man. The stereotypical “macho” man is known as strong, dominant, and powerful. As a man in any community it could be beneficial to challenge these stereotypes. Fathers, grandfathers, brothers, and uncles should be compassionate, gentle, sympathetic, and affectionate and still identify as a “real man.” This also includes confronting any comments, stories, or jokes involving sexism, racism, homophobia, or prejudice. Domestic violence is a form of exerting extreme power and control over another human being, this behavior is never okay.
- Reach out to women you many know experiencing domestic violence. Women who are involved in a domestic violence relationship are in constant fear. Due to physical, emotional, and sexual abuse these women are led to believe that they are inferior and isolated. If a man, who exemplifies strength and respect, offers their help, this could help change the life of the woman or family in danger. Remember never to blame the victim or vocalize any judgements on their abuser. Stay positive, know your limits, and offer continuous support.
At the Marjaree Mason Center we welcome the help and support of men looking to speak out against domestic violence and join us in our fight to stop it. If you or someone you love is experiencing domestic violence, or you are seeking more advice on how to help, call Marjaree Mason Center’s 24 hour confidential hotline at 559.233.HELP (4357).