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Doing nothing does harm

How many of us would have the courage to take action if we saw violence towards females (verbal or physical), gender discrimination, sexual harassment or disrespectful comments?

My wish is that everyone would be brave enough to do something. The whole notion of helping someone that is being abused does not mean that you need to put yourself in harms way. You can use “secondary prevention” i.e. you can be someone who challenges that behaviour by offering assistance in the following ways:

1. Defusing the situation by: a disapproving look (non-verbal) or a light hearted comment to the perpetrator
2. Talking to the victim: when you get a chance ask them are they ok? What do they need? Do they want to make a complaint?
3. Calling out the behaviour: if your personal safety is not at risk you could call it out i.e. ” Hey, its inappropriate to be speaking to her in that tone” or “its never ok to tell jokes like that, they are disrespectful and degrading”.
4. Report it: you can call police 000, notify HR or tell a supervisor.

Dads, it’s never ok to standby and watch abuse in any form, whether it be to males or females. The term that some professional groups are using is – Be an active bystander. We can play a lead role in setting a standard of behaviour both as a role model to our growing children and also to not settle or condone bad behaviour to women or anyone.

Dads we are very likely to listen to other dads, so next time you’re talking to another dad, discuss how you would respond if you were a bystander to any bad behaviour and make a pledge…

“When X happens, I will do Y. (one of the 4 steps mentioned above)