1. Encourage the men and boys in your life to be better. Speak up when you hear someone make disparaging comments about women or other men.
“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
― Elie Wiesel
2. Confront the toxicity in your life and surroundings. Violence doesn’t happen in a void, often it’s a learned response. Break the mold and free yourself.
“Thou shalt not be a victim, thou shalt not be a perpetrator, but, above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.”
― Yehuda Bauer
3. Show up. Take a stand on issues in your community. Attend a protest, walk with others in a show of support about something you may never face like racism, sexism, or homophobia. Let people know you care. Get involved in your community’s rallies and awareness campaigns on ending violence.
“No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care”
― Theodore Roosevelt
4. Remember. Give some space in your life to reflect on those who have lost their lives to violence in the home, at work, or in your community.
“Beauty exists not in what is seen and remembered, but in what is felt and never forgotten.”
― Johnathan Jena
5. Listen. Hear the voices around you and ask yourself what can you do to help and heal. If you can’t hear those voices have a look at reasons why. Are you trustworthy, are you safe, do you encourage healing for others?
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
― Stephen R. Covey
6. Educate yourself and be a leader. Learn about violence and abuse, know the signs of abuse, gender inequality, and the root causes of hate. Then take that information and educate the people around you.
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”
― John F. Kennedy
7. Be an ally and understand violence is a men’s issue. Empower bystanders and your network of friends who can help change abusers behaviour. Support efforts in raising awareness on violence against women.
“People never remember the crowd; they remember the one person that had the courage to say and do what no one would do.”
― Shannon L. Alder
8. Heal the pain in your life. Many of us are survivors of abuse in some way and many of us fear becoming a victim of violence. If you are emotionally, psychologically, physically or sexually abused, get help.
“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation — either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
9. Don’t be hard on yourself. We all live with mistakes and regrets. Learn the lessons you were meant to learn and more forward. Seek forgiveness if its warranted and forgive others. Hurt is a heavy load to carry. Hate is a load that will crush you.
“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”
― Mark Twain
10. Be the person you wish someone would be when you need help. Be kind, be generous, and be gentle. Help the homeless, stand with the victimized, heal the hurting, and always remember life is about growth. Keep growing not matter what. Never stop bettering yourself.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
― Albert Einstein