Activism and Social Change
Give Your Local Program a Helping Hand
Our member programs are always in need of volunteers. So why not put your talents to work, and give your local program a helping hand? Paint a kitchen or do some yard work at a local shelter. Take volunteer training and help answer hotline calls. Distribute posters around your town. If you can’t give time, you can donate money or even resources such as books, clothes, or toys for people in shelter. Contact the program nearest you to learn how you can help.
What would it take to end domestic and sexual violence in Vermont?
Activism and change come in a variety of venues. To truly create social change, activism must happen locally as well as nationally. It can happen in small, everyday actions as well as creative ways using large-scale or far reaching venues like the media or social networking.
Some of the most important steps you can take are simple and can make a big difference. It can be as easy as talking to a friend about how our culture continues to allow domestic and sexual violence to happen in our communities. Or you can talk candidly with your children about healthy relationships and sexuality so they have accurate information that will help them recognize danger signs more clearly and respect other’s boundaries
You can even make a difference by stating your opposition to violence clearly with a tee shirt, button, or bumper sticker.
It’s also critical to remember that small steps taken to influence media, including newspapers, music, online sites and your political representatives can have big results. Something as simple as a letter to the editor of your local newspaper encouraging respectful treatment for victims of violence and accountability for perpetrators can make an impact. So can asking your state representative to show her or his support for local service and prevention programs that provide critical support for people who have experienced domestic and sexual violence.
Raising Awareness and creating change in Your Community
- VOLUNTEER for your local domestic violence and/or sexual assault program – member organization list
- Have the hotline numbers handy in case you ever need to give them to someone in need of help.
- Think through how you would intervene if you saw someone being harmed; be an active bystander.
- Encourage your local schools to include sexual and domestic violence prevention education in their curricula
- Stand up against sexist and homophobic jokes and comments.
- Find out if the shelter in your area has a “wish list” of items needed and help fill those either through purchasing items or asking friends, colleagues or family if they can donate the items needed.
- Talk about equality and healthy sexuality and relationships with the youth in your life.
- Provide annual statistics on DV/SV cases to officials and publicize those statistics to raise awareness
- Host a kitchen table discussion with your neighbors and friends at your house, talk about why you all think domestic and sexual violence happens and what you might be able to do about it.
- Encourage officials to pass resolutions and legislation to support domestic or sexual violence victims
- Use the town hall or other public places to display DV/SV awareness and education material (ask your local program to recommend materials)
- Support local DV/SV awareness events such as Sexual Violence Month or Domestic Violence Awareness Month
More information and downloads are available in Publications.