8 ways to address gender-based violence


As members of society, all of us have a role in helping to curb gender-based violence. Photo: Freepik

To help deter sexual harassment and other forms of gender-based violence, and improve the safety of men as well as women, a multi-faceted approach is crucial, says educator Dr Desmond Cheah, who is a psychology practitioner and mental health consultant.

“As members of society, all of us have a role to help curb gender-based violence,” he says.

Cheah suggests several strategies for this.

1. Educate yourself

Take the initiative to educate yourself about the challenges that men face regarding gender-based violence.

Understanding the nuances of the issue will enable you to provide more informed and empathetic support.

2. Promote open communication

Create an environment where open communication is encouraged.

Bystanders can play a pivotal role by fostering a culture where men feel comfortable sharing their experiences without fear of judgement.

3. Listen supportively

Actively listen and provide a supportive space for men to share their feelings and experiences.

Having someone who genuinely listens without judgement can be immensely beneficial for survivors.

4. Dispel stereotypes

Challenge and debunk stereotypes related to masculinity and vulnerability.

You can contribute to breaking down society norms that hinder reporting by promoting the idea that everyone – regardless of gender – can be a victim of harassment.

5. Spread awareness

Bystanders can play a pivotal role by fostering a culture where men feel comfortable sharing their experiences without fear of judgment, says Cheah. Photo: Dr Desmond CheahBystanders can play a pivotal role by fostering a culture where men feel comfortable sharing their experiences without fear of judgment, says Cheah. Photo: Dr Desmond CheahActively participate in spreading awareness about gender-based violence against men.

Share resources, helpline numbers, advocates, and information about support organisations through social media and other platforms.

6. Encourage reporting

If someone confides in you about experiencing harassment, encourage them to report the incident to the relevant authorities.

Assure them that reporting is the first step towards justice.

7. Advocate for inclusivity

Advocate for inclusivity in support services.

While there are numerous organisations dedicated to assisting women, there’s a need for more resources and services specifically tailored to support men who face gender-based violence.

8. Collaborate with organisations

Collaborate with organisations that focus on promoting gender equality and work towards eliminating all forms of harassment.

Support their initiatives and contribute towards creating safer spaces for everyone.

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