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  • Writer's pictureYashoda Singh

10 Things Men Can Do To Prevent Gender Violence

First Citizens bank held the Women First Conference titled "Changing the Narrative" which consisted of tidbits that were critical in addressing the increased prevalence of Gender Violence in Trinidad and Tobago, and by extension globally. While the program consisted of many topics of interest, this piece is generally focused on the role of men in effecting positive change on Gender Violence. This was held at Hilton Trinidad, St Ann's on Sunday.

The feature speaker was Dr Jackson Katz (a male) who quoted in one of his popular TED talks,

Calling gender violence a women’s issue is part of the problem.  …it gives men an excuse not to pay attention

and secondly, it erases men from a conversation that is centrally about the male as perpetrator of gender violence.       

10 Things Men Can Do To Prevent Gender Violence

  1. Approach gender violence as a MEN's issue involving men of all ages and socioeconomic, racial and ethnic backgrounds. View men not only as perpetrators or possible offenders, but as empowered bystanders who can confront abusive peers.

  2. If a brother, friend, classmate, or teammate is abusing his female partner --or is disrespectful or abusive to girls and women in general -- don't look the other way. If you feel comfortable doing so, try to talk to him about it. Urge him to seek help. Or if you don't know what to do, consult a friend, a parent, a professor, or a counselor. DON'T REMAIN SILENT.

  3. Have the courage to look inward. Question your own attitudes. Don't be defensive when something you do or say ends up hurting someone else. Try hard to understand how your own attitudes and actions might inadvertently perpetuate sexism and violence, and work towards changing them.

  4. If you suspect that a woman close to you is being abused or has been sexually assaulted, gently ask if you can help.

  5. If you are emotionally, psychologically, physically, or sexually abusive to women, or have been in the past, seek professional help NOW.

  6. Be an ally to women who are working to end all forms of gender violence. Support the work of campus based women's centers. Attend "Take Back the Night" rallies and other public events. Raise money for community-based rape crisis centers and battered women's shelters. If you belong to a team or fraternity, or another student group, organize a fundraiser.

  7. Recognize and speak out against homophobia and gay-bashing. Discrimination and violence against LGBTQ people are wrong in and of themselves. This abuse also has direct links to sexism (e.g the sexual orientation of men who speak out against sexism is often questioned, a conscious or unconscious strategy intended to silence them. This is a key reasons few men do so).

  8. Attend programs, takes courses, watch films, and read articles and books about multicultural masculinities, gender inequality, and the root causes of gender violence. Educate yourself and others about how larger social forces affect the conflicts between individual men and women.

  9. Don't fund sexism. Refuse to purchase any magazine, rent any video, subscribe to any Web site, or buy any music that portrays girls or women in a sexually degrading or abusive manner. Speak out about cyber-sexism and misogynist attacks against women on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr. Protest sexism in new and old media.

  10. Mentor and teach young boys about how to be men in ways that don't involve degrading or abusing girls and women (or men). Volunteer to work with gender violence prevention programs, including anti-sexist men's programs. Lead by example.

This poster was produced by MVP Strategies, a gender violence prevention education and training organization.

Among other speakers present were Dr. Gabrielle Hosein, Head of IGDS, University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Dr. Cheryl-Ann Boodram, Renee Cozier, Penelope Spencer and Professor Patricia Mohammed. Students from the Necessary arts articulated scripts that are very much predominant in our society today such as sexual harassment in the workplace, among teenagers and our very own catcalling of women while they are traversing our streets daily.

Remember: We all have wives, mothers, daughters, nieces and female cousins. Changing the Narrative can begin with you. Join the #metoo movement

Learn more about the First Citizen's Pink Card initiative which provides an easy and fast way for philanthropic persons to make a contribution to alleviate this major social problem.   

Further resources from Dr. Jackson Katz are:

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