35% of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual violence within a relationship, or non-partner sexual violence. Silence and lack of knowledge about these problems play a large part in why domestic and sexual violence continue to persist. Understanding the warning signs or red flags for domestic violence, sexual assault and abuse is a critical first step in addressing and preventing these crimes.
STAND WITH SURVIVORS
If someone discloses that they have or are being abused, let them know that the abuse is not their fault. It may be difficult for them to talk about the abuse but you don’t need to be an expert, you just need to be a friend. Reassure them that they are not alone, they are not to blame for what happened and that there is help and support out there. Help them find local resources to support their needs and safety, and provide them with the appropriate hotline info but ultimately, respect their decision and be patient. Healing from trauma is a lifelong journey.
Challenge yourself and others to not use language or expressions that denigrate women. Speak up to let others know that their comments are limiting and offensive and have no place in the classroom, at work, or in our homes. Challenge comments that blame the victims of domestic and sexual violence for what has happened to them. Learn how you can safely step in and speak up when you’re witnessing behaviour that may put someone in danger.
Say “NO MORE” to domestic and sexual violence.