Be a Man. Help us end violence against women and girls, once and for all.
The MEN Challenge is sponsored by Verizon and the Iota Phi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi, Inc.
What is the MEN Challenge?
Domestic violence, rape, and sexual assault are often seen as “Women’s Issues.” The truth is we all have a role to play in ending violence against women and girls.
Center for Victims MEN challenge is an ongoing campaign, pledge and action plan to engage men in our work in Allegheny County. The MEN’s pledge and action plan has been designed to encourage men to make a commitment to learn more about how to be a proactive bystander and speak out about violence against women and girls. Men receive a tool kit that will give them themed monthly activities and educational tips that can be used in their homes, workplaces, social networks and communities.
We believe that men DO want to be actively involved in violence prevention, but don’t know where to start or what to do. Center for Victims’ goal is to educate men and give them the tools and resources necessary to use their voices and their actions to be social change agents. The solution starts with YOU!
(reprinted with permission from Jackson Katz’s MVP Strategies with minor alterations)
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 toward 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. Refer them to Center for Victims: 1-866-644-2882
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. Raise money for victim service agencies like Center for Victims. 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 reason few men do so).
8. Attend programs, take 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 and 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.
I Want To Do More
There are many ways to get involved in ending violence against women, and ensuring critical services for victims and survivors are available and accessible. Start Here:
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