What you can do to end sexual violence & misconduct in our communities
Each and every one of us has a role to play in ensuring that sexual violence and misconduct does not occur in our communities. Prevention is the responsibility of everyone.
Have healthy, respectful relationships
Healthy relationships can bring out the best in people. A healthy relationship has at least five important qualities:
Be a role model for positive behaviour
Understand consent and actively demonstrate a respect for the choices of others through your actions and words.
Be an active witness and intervene where appropriate
An active witness is someone who observes unacceptable behavior targeted towards someone else and is brave enough to take action.
The first step to being an active witness is assessing the situation when you notice unacceptable behaviour:
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Decide ‘in your gut’ if what you witness is unacceptable, and ask yourself if you can play a role.
- Assess the options and risks for taking action, and decide whether to act now or later.
If you or others are in immediate danger or fear for safety, call 911.
After assessing the situation, decide if and how you might intervene:
- Interrupt the behaviour.
- Use “I” statements: “I feel _____ when you ____. Please don’t do that anymore.”
- Use humour when appropriate (e.g. “ouch!”), or use body language or silence to show disapproval.
- Change perspective: “What if someone just said that about someone you care about?”