Young women between the ages of 16-24 experience high rates of sexual assaults, stalking, and relationship violence. One in five women will be sexually assaulted while in college, and one in four women will be a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime.
This pledge was developed as part of a Town Hall meeting in October 2011 which brought together domestic violence and sexual assault coalitions, community leaders, activists and advocates, and other stakeholders to have a conversation on how men can become more active in stopping violence against women.
In conjunction with Vice President Joseph Biden’s initiative to raise awareness on dating violence and sexual assault among young people, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services- Office on Women’s Health, the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Housing and Urban Development hosted town hall meetings across the country to focus on the role of men and boys in violence prevention. The Chicago town hall meeting focused specifically on the role of men in ending dating violence and sexual assault on their campuses and in their communities.
By signing this pledge, I recognize that I have a central role in stopping violence against women. I know that violence includes physical violence, aggressive or sexist language, and sexual pressure. As a man, I have a responsibility to ensure that my sisters, classmates, partners, and friends have the right to live a life free of violence. I know that this is not about blaming men; it is about holding my brothers, classmates, partners, and friends to a higher standard that eliminates the pressure to be aggressive, unemotional, homophobic, and sexist.
I believe that all people have a right to live without sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, and sexism. In this belief, I pledge to:
* Never use violence of any kind in my relationships
* Never use physical force or emotional manipulation to have sex
* Only engage in sex when my partner agrees
* Hold myself accountable for all of my actions and behaviors even when I am intoxicated
* Never get a date intoxicated in order to have sex
* Hold myself and my friends accountable for aggressive and sexist language
* Think about the music, movies, and other media that I consume and whether they promote sexism, violence, or homophobia
* Offer help if I know someone who is being physically, emotionally, or sexually abused
* Recognize that most women do not feel safe
* Do my part to make my community a safe place for women
* Add your own way to make a difference in your response to why you are signing this petition/pledge (under the section with your name, address, etc to your left)