NEVER COMMIT VIOLENCE TOWARDS WOMEN

Taking The Pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women means a better life for you and those close to you. Part one of The Pledge.

Men CAN stop violence towards women. The first thing men can do to stop violence is to understand what it is and the harmful impact it has.

Violence is any action that controls through fear. It can be physical or non-physical. It can happen in front of others, but is often hidden and occurs in private.

Physical violence is:

  • Pushing, hitting or punching
  • Kicking, biting, choking and strangling
  • Using weapons
  • Forcing someone to have sex or do sexual things when they don’t want to

Non-physical violence is:

  • Standing over her, yelling or screaming
  • Destroying things precious to her
  • Threatening to hurt her, or someone close to her
  • Constantly criticising and putting her down
  • Using fear or guilt to control her actions
  • Controlling and monitoring her money
  • Using the children against her

Violence has a huge impact. It can make women feel fearful, sad, isolated, lacking in confidence, angry and suicidal. In some cases, violence against women results in severe injury, or even death. The feelings that violence causes can last for a long time, and it is often not just the woman who feels this way. Violence affects everyone, especially children, whānau, friends and communities as a whole. Violence also affects those who use it, often making them feel sad, isolated, ashamed, and frightened of losing relationships.

There are things you can do so that you don’t use violence and act safely. You can:

  • Know what behaviours are abusive and controlling and what alternative behaviours are OK
  • Know your warning signs and triggers, get in control of yourself early
  • Stop, think, what impacts and costs your actions will have? Choose a time for both of you when you can talk calmly and openly about your feelings
  • Chill out, walk away from a potentially violent situation

Violence hurts everyone. A life lived in fear is not a life fulfilled. It is important that all men do whatever they can to ensure that women are safe. Here are some ideas:

  • Understand what violence is and what is not ok. Check out whiteribbon.org.nz for more information.
  • Speak up and ask for help. Talk to others, you don’t need to do this on your own.
  • If someone is in danger, call the Police even if you are not sure
  • Don’t join in conversations that put women down, or share images that degrade women and treat them as just a body, not a person.
  • As a family, teach men and boys respect for women. Be proud that your family respects and protects!
  • Listen to women; learn from their experiences of abuse and violence. Understand the impact that violence has had on them and what you can do to make a difference.
  • Support women to be independent and live without fear. Be proud that this is what happens in your family.
  • When you make mistakes, face up, take responsibility and put things right.
  • Be proud, wear a White Ribbon to show you are part of a men’s movement to promote respect and end men’s violence to women

These are just a few of the many ways that men can ensure that they do not commit violence against women and prevent their families from committing it as well. By taking the Pledge, you have promised to never commit violence against women. These strategies will help you uphold this promise. You CAN stop violence against women.

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