What Can You Do?
What can you do as a man/young man?
- Remember that no one is born a rapist and that no one is born violent. It is possible to change.
- Respect yourself and be in touch with your true values and your feelings.
- Find help if you are struggling with feelings of anger or inadequacy, or if you have experienced violence and trauma if your life.
- Watch your alcohol intake: if you lose control when you are drunk, stop drinking or drink less.
- Be a role model who treats girls and women with respect and care.
- Challenge sexist jokes and remarks about women.
- Challenge men who harass women on the streets.
- Actively speak out against rape and encourage other men to do the same.
- Talk about how consent is really important for good relationships and good sex.
- Don’t turn a blind eye to rape. Support rape survivors in whatever ways you can. ( Link to what to do if someone has been raped)
- Be part of making your community a safe space for everyone.
What can you do as a parent/caregiver of children?
- Raise your children to respect themselves and to respect the rights and dignity of others.
- Avoid exposing them to violence and abusive behaviour.
- Listen to them if they complain of abuse, believe them and protect them from abusers, even if they are family members.
- Encourage them to speak out: don’t let them suffer abuse in silence.
- Support them to understand their own physical boundaries and to assert them – to know what feels comfortable and what’s not comfortable.
- Live by example. Show respect and support for rape survivors, and speak out against rapists and abusers.
- Give them the courage and confident to stay true to themselves.
What can you do as a community member?
- Take a stand and break the silence around rape.
- Support rape survivors: no-one asks to be raped and no-one deserves to be raped.
- Encourage love and respect for self and others,
- Show leadership in challenging rape in your community
- Encourage all members of the community to see rape as a collective problem and not as only a women’s issue
- Hold government services accountable for service delivery, especially police, health services and public works.
- Work together to isolate dangerous areas and motivate for safe areas and effective management of community resources such as street lights.
What can you do as a rape survivor?
- Be kind to yourself and recognise that it takes time to heal.
- Join or start a support group that can provide support to others.
- Break the silence around rape and speak out it if you feel safe to do so, and if it is useful to you and makes a difference to others.
Rape is a complex challenge. It affects all of us, directly and indirectly. It requires all our involvement. In responding to and preventing rape, interventions are required at both an individual and at a community level. Whist rape largely directly affects women and girls; a rape of any person has a wider impact on everybody in the family and in the community. We all need to become part of the solution of building communities, homes, relationships and selves based on principles of respect, human dignity, connection, self-awareness and love.