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How You Can Be More Than A Bystander

The “Be More Than A Bystander” Campaign is a proactive one, which seeks to create a culture in our society that intervenes on abusive attitudes and behaviour directed towards women in their earliest stages, before they have had the chance to escalate along the continuum of violence. A culture that no longer sits idly by, condoning violence against women through its silence, but one where individuals are empowered to actively help prevent violence against women.

Chances are that at some point in your daily life you have witnessed, heard or seen someone act in a way that was derogatory, degrading, abusive or violent towards women. Be it in the form of a joke, cat call, comment, put down, or physical or sexual assault, this is all violence against women. In these moments, people often feel that their only choices are to say nothing, look the other way or physically intervene, potentially exposing themselves to violence. There is much more in fact that can be done.

Much like there is a continuum of violence against women there is also a continuum of intervention. Intervention can take many forms and there is a mode of intervention to fit any and all individuals.

Intervention can be between friends and colleagues or between strangers. It can entail speaking out about an attitude/action or can be accomplished without using any words at all.

When being more than a bystander, the most important consideration is that of safety. If there is immediate danger or you feel that intervening would be unsafe for you, the woman or others involved, it is best to not intervene yourself but to call the police and/or security. When being more than a bystander, know that violence is never a solution and will only aggravate and escalate a situation.

In cases where there is no immediate danger, there are many ways that you can help by being more than a bystander and breaking the silence on violence against women.

By teaching bystanders some simple ways to express that derogatory, degrading, abusive and violent attitudes and behaviours directed towards women are not acceptable and will not be silently tolerated, this initiative aims to empower every individual to – in their own way – be more than a bystander.

For more information on the Be More Than A Bystander Campaign and what YOU can do, please click the links or check out the website from The Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA BC): endingviolence.org.

For more videos and PSA’s, check out EVA TV on YouTube.