Women Sexual Assault Centre
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To be part of preventing sexualized violence
Having a healthy respectful sexual relationship
What men can do
Reducing the risk – some things to keep in mind

We can all play a role in preventing sexualized violence. Here are some things you can do

  • Learn and find out more about the issue of sexual assault – by spending time reading this website you are already working towards creating positive change. There are also other websites, videos, and documentaries about this issue
  • Do not deny that this form of violence exists. Acknowledge that it is a serious issue that affects all of us.
  • Speak up when you hear derogatory sexist comments or jokes.
  • Support survivors of sexualized violence. "if you know someone"
  • Challenge and speak out against the tolerance of violence and sexism in movies, music videos, magazines, television and advertising.
  • Find out what resources and services exist for survivors of sexualized violence and support these organizations in their work. volunteer page
  • Insist that schools make gender aware violence prevention programs part of their curriculum.
  • Challenge your municipal, provincial and federal politicians to practice a zero tolerance of sexual assault. Support laws that encourage perpetrators of sexual violence to be accountable for their actions.
  • Do a self-check – reflect on your own attitudes and actions and ask yourself whether any of these actually support sexualized violence and the myths associated with this type of violence. FAQ
  • Recognize and speak up against homophobia.

Having a healthy respectful sexual relationship

  • Communicate your sexual desires as honestly and respectfully as possible and then listen and respect the other person’s boundaries.
  • Make sure you check in with the other person; if you see, hear or sense any hesitation on their part to be more intimate then stop. Do not pressure them in anyway.
  • Stay in touch with your sexual desires. Ask yourself if you are really hearing what the other person wants. Do not let sexual desires control your actions.
  • Do not use coercion, threats or pressure to get sex.

What men can do

While it is true that 90% of sexual assaults are perpetrated by men, it is also true that most men are not sexually violent. Men play a key role in preventing this form of violence.

  • If another man is abusive or disrespectful to women, don't look the other way. Speak up, urge him to look at his behavior and how it impacts others.
  • Do not purchase or use any material that promotes sexualized violence.
  • Lead by example. Speak to other men about the issue. Break the silence that shrouds sexualized violence.
  • Be an ally to women who are working to end all forms of gender violence.
  • Join groups of men (Men Can Stop Rape, White Ribbon, Walk a mile in her shoes) that are working towards the prevention of sexualized violence.
  • Pledge to never commit or condone acts of sexualized violence.
  • Have the courage to look inward and question your own attitudes. Do they inadvertently perpetuate sexism and violence?

Reducing the risk – some things to keep in mind

The main thing that we can all do to prevent this form of violence is to change the attitudes, values and behaviors that allow sexualized violence to occur. We sometimes may not feel safe or might want to consider situations that are of a higher risk. Here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Be clear on what your boundaries are – know your own limits and state them early on. Know that it is your right to stop sexual activity at anytime – if you are not feeling well, uncomfortable, afraid or uncertain. Consent is given in the moment and moments and minds can change.
  • Take an assertiveness course. Learn how to project a confident physical and mental attitude. Remember, you are the only person in charge of your body.
  • If the person doesn’t listen to you, make a strong verbal stand. Use whatever words you think are appropriate. Your tone of voice, body language and choice all words should all reflect what you want at that point –for them to stop.
  • Trust your instinct. If a situation does not feel right, listen to your inner voice and take action to remove yourself from that situation. We are often worried about hurting someone’s feelings, however your safety comes first.
  • Do not leave your drink uncovered or alone – drugs can be slipped into water or juice, its not just alcoholic beverages that get spiked.
  • If you choose to use drugs and alcohol, use them with caution. You might think they help you have a good time but they also make you vulnerable.

Important Note!
Regardless of how well a person communicates or how assertive they may be, sometimes a person may still be assaulted. It is important to remember that no matter what, it is not your fault.