It’s never easy to admit when we’ve crossed a line or overstepped the mark. But if you can think of a situation when your behaviour has upset, embarrassed, hurt, controlled or coerced someone - whether someone you know or a stranger - be honest with yourself. It’s the first step to making a change for the better.
We’re not only talking about deliberate acts of serious violence. Abuse takes many forms – verbal, emotional, sexual and physical. Some people don’t recognise the impact this behaviour can have on the person who experiences it. Or that many of these behaviours could be criminal.
Outside the home
Have you ever:
- Made sexual comments about a woman to your mates?
- Made suggestive comments to a woman when they were clearly unwelcome?
- Followed or tracked where someone is going?
- Pressured a woman for sex until she gave in, even though she’d said no?
- Made a woman at work feel uncomfortable, upset or afraid of being alone with you?
- Acted unprofessionally towards a woman at work, such as repeatedly commenting on how she looks or making sexual innuendos?
With your partner
Have you ever:
- Shared or shown an intimate photo of your girlfriend without her knowing?
- Repeatedly told your partner you don’t want her going out with her friends, or told her what she should or shouldn’t wear?
- Seen your partner looking scared of you?
- Forced your partner to have sex, even though she said no?
Sounding like someone you know?
You can help them see that their behaviour isn’t OK. Whether by choosing not to laugh or join in, or calling it out if you see abusive behaviour or they treat a woman disrespectfully.
We used to laugh along, but one by one we started to tell him his behaviour wasn't funny, it's wrong. After a while I think he got the message.
*Testimonials are anonymous to protect identities, but all are based on real experiences