Violence against women by men is primarily a power and control issue where someone tries to control the other person or exert power over them through threats of violence or actual violence. Some men have deep seated attitudes and beliefs towards women where they view them as inferior or feel it is their right to exert control. This stems from a lack of respect for women and is a learned behavior. It stands to reason that if these men do not respect women, they need to hear from other men that violence against women is wrong; men they respect need to help hold them accountable for their behavior.
Too many young boys do not have positive role models to teach them that men don’t hurt women and that violence doesn’t equal strength. We need get actively involved in helping the boys today become the men we want them to be, through example and mentoring.
We are not asking men to put themselves in danger. If violence is happening, call 911. However, we can all examine our own language and become conscious of the demeaning statement and jokes that we may hear about women from others and speak up.
Consider the following and see if any of this is relevant in your life. Why do men remain silent when it comes to violence against women?
- Fear of being viewed as “weak”
- It’s none of my business
- Fear of being involved and getting “wrapped up” in conflict
- Fear for personal safety
- “I helped once and the victim yelled at me!”
- I don’t know what to say
- The guys a friend and he knows best
- She likes it
- She keeps going back to him
- He was just joking
- It’s just guy talk