Lead by Example. Be a role model for other men and boys in your community. Teach your children to be respectful and never abusive toward others. Serve as a good father and equal partner in your family.
“The reality is that men do care about issues of violence against women and are willing to act. Men as fathers, grandfathers, uncles, teachers, and coaches have an important and necessary role to play in ending violence against women and children.” – Coaching Boys Into Men, www.coachescorner.org
Violence is a learned behavior, fed by disrespect and a deep need for power and control. Fortunately, respect and equality can be learned as well. As men, we have the opportunity to have positive influence in the lives of other men and boys – in our workplaces, within our faith communities, among our social circles, through mentoring opportunities such as coaching or teaching and especially within our homes and families.
A boy will learn what it means to “be a man” by observing his father and/or other men who play a significant role in his childhood. His male role models may teach him to respect women as equals in society; or, they may teach him that women are “less than” men. Boys who are taught that women are unequal to men grow into men who continue to influence a culture of misogyny that ultimately leads to a quiet acceptance of violence against women.
Be mindful of your words, actions and attitudes surrounding equality and respect for women, understanding that attitudes and behaviors are contagious.