8 Simple Ways to Stop the Culture of Domestic Violence
Written by Camille Chuaquico
Monday, 20 July 2015 00:00

What can you do to stop domestic violence?

By Camille Chuaquico

Cultural and social norms can either protect against or encourage the use of violence. The culture of domestic violence persists in society because it is deemed acceptable. Traditional beliefs that men have a right to control or discipline women through physical means makes women vulnerable to violence by intimate partners and places girls at risk of sexual abuse.

Challenging cultural norms to stop domestic violence can be approached at various levels including changing government policies, mass media, and education system. All of these may be out of our hands and may take a while to take effect. So what can we do as individuals to defy the culture of domestic violence? Believe it or not, there are eight (8) simple things you can do every day to end domestic violence.

  1. Recognize the signs of domestic abuse. Couples fighting occasionally is the norm, but domestic or dating violence is different from regular disagreements between a couple. Domestic violence occurs when one person in a relationship uses their power to control their partner. Domestic violence doesn’t necessarily have to involve physical violence - it can manifest in the form of emotional, verbal or even financial abuse. Abuse often happens in a pattern. If you are unsure whether or not you or someone you know may be in a domestic violence situation, it would help to look up the signs. 

    Awareness is key and one way to learn more about the issue of domestic violence is deliberately researching what domestic violence is, what a healthy relationship should look like, and how to seek help. You are on the right track. Keep reading!
    need help

  2. Be no stranger. Did you know that 1 out of 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime? So statistically, if you know 4 women in your life, one of them is, has been, or will be suffering from domestic violence. But this does not mean that domestic violence only happens to women. Men and the LGBTQ community experience intimate partner violence as well.

    What can you do about it? It’s pretty simple. BE A FRIEND. Check in. Strike a conversation. Have a listening ear. We all get caught up with our own life’s little dramas but it should not hinder us from caring about others, especially our loved ones who might need our special attention.

    Domestic violence is a sensitive issue and victims may be hesitant to tell anyone about it. You may be someone your friends can open up to if only you make an effort to reach out and check in with their lives. All it takes is one text message, or one phone call, or one chat message asking them “how are you?”
    you okay

  3. Respect. Domestic violence is a human rights issue involving men and women of all ages and socioeconomic, racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds. regardless of race, gender, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation. To combat this, respect and promote respect for all people. Do not tolerate discrimination, violence, or degrading behaviors against anyone you perceive to be different from yourself. Support men to be empowered bystanders who can help confront abusive peers.

  4. Speak out against violence or sexist viewpoints when you are confronted with it in your daily life. When you hear a friend blaming a rape or sexual assault survivor during a conversation, by saying things like “She asked for it” or “It’s her fault”, arrest the situation. Instead of judging the victim for what she wore or why she drank during a party, tell your friend to blame the rapist for his criminal act. This might spark a debate between you and your friend, but hey, it’s an opportunity to get the message across. It’s the little things that we let slip by that permeate a culture of domestic violence and rape.

    A study conducted by a professor in Western Carolina University reveals that people who are exposed to sexist humor have shown tolerance of hostile feelings and discrimination against women. Words can create a culture of violence. Check your words before you blurt them out. And do us a favor, tell your friends to stop making offensive jokes as well.
    double standard

  5. Boycott any forms of media and entertainment that support violence, hypersexualize and objectify women. Examples are pornographic materials, video games, music videos, and other literatures that promote violence or are degrading towards women.

    You can even take it a step further and refrain from supporting places that tolerate the proliferation of such items. For example, theaters that tolerate showing of violent films or websites and YouTube channels that desensitize violence against women through music videos. If you feel like doing something more, contact media producers when something is offensive to you.
    fifty shades

  6. Like, tweet, share. Yes, cute cat videos are irresistible! But wouldn’t it be more relevant to share a video, an article, or a powerful quote that aims to end domestic violence? Be a strong social media advocate against domestic violence. Follow social media accounts of organizations whose advocacies are in line with yours. Like, re-tweet, and share their posts. Sign-up for their online newsletters. Better yet, invite your friends to like and follow the organizations you support.
    follow me

  7. Volunteer. There are numerous nonprofit organizations fighting domestic violence in their own ways and these organizations almost always need an extra helping hand in advancing their cause. There are many ways to volunteer! Looking after children while their mothers are going through counseling, tutoring, interpreting for survivors, blogging, events-coordinating--these are some of the ways you can volunteer to help domestic violence survivors!
    i volunteer

  8. Give. Declare a Starbucks frappucino fast for a day or two and donate what you save to nonprofits that work hard to end domestic violence. You cut on the calories, plus, you help a domestic violence victim in need.

Domestic violence is embedded into our culture simply because we, as a society, let it slide and become immune to the dangerous implications. It will take a lot of effort to shift toward a culture that turns away from violence and abuse, but it is possible if we stand together as one. It is up to us to help rid the world of domestic violence. We all have the voices and the power to do so, as long as we choose to stand up and speak out every day. Domestic violence survivors often suffer in silence before finding strength to seek help. What will you do to help end the suffering?