20 Things You Can Do To Help End Sexual Assault

Become educated about the problem of sexual assault and its consequences.
Speak out against attitudes and behaviors that contribute to a culture where violence against women is condoned and often encouraged.
Men: Mentor and teach young boys about how to be men in ways that don’t involve degrading or abusing girls and women.
Surveys show that most men who commit violent acts are supported in their attitudes and behaviors by some of the men close to them. As such, men are in a position to support, or challenge, other men’s pro-violence attitudes and behaviors. Do not let your silence infer permission.
Encourage young people to use non-violent means to resolve conflict and learn strategies of cooperation and collaboration.
Believe and support victims of sexual assault. Show survivors that you hold offenders, not victims, accountable for their crime.
There are no innocent bystanders. Speak up and challenge those who would commit acts of sexual violence.
Support organizations in your community that provide services to sexual assault victims.
Teach healthy relationships. Teach that no means no.
Dispel the myths surrounding sexual assault that put the burden of responsibility on the victim and excuses the offender.
Challenge gender roles that place girls and women at risk.
Support harsh penalties for perpetrators of all sexual assault crimes.
Invite your local rape crisis center representative to make a presentation to your group, school or organization.
Instill the values of dignity and respect for all people and cultures.
Support legislation that promotes and protects the rights of all women to live free from fear of personal violence, i.e. sex trafficking, pornography, stalking, sexual solicitation of minors, sexual harassment.
Parent: Take responsibility to talk to your children about sex and healthy relationships, be aware of the negative influences in our culture (music, radio/tv, movies, internet) that tend to demean or devalue women and girls and take steps to counter.
Recognize and speak out against media that creates a toxic cultural environment in which sexual violence is encouraged, i.e. advertisements that glorify and encourage the objectification of women. “Turning a human being into a thing is the first step towards committing violence against that person,” Dr. Jean Kilbourne.
Make sure your institution, organization or business has policies, practices and procedures relating to sexual harassment. For example, a lack of policies in the workplace can send a message that sexual harassment is tolerated, and that there may be few or no consequences for those who harass others.
Violence against women is a choice. Hold those who make that choice accountable.
Teach risk-reduction to girls and women, while realizing that the burden of responsibility for a person’s actions rest upon the shoulders of the person making the choice whether or not to commit a crime.

Remember, non-consensual sexual activity is sexual assault and is a crime, no matter what the circumstances.

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