ALLY BEHAVIOR: 

I will not laugh at rape jokes.

 

ALLY BEHAVIOR IN ACTION:

Josh is at happy hour with his male and female co-workers when a senior manager joins their table.  The manager has had a lot to drink, and starts to tell inappropriate jokes, including ones about sexual assault.  Josh is torn about what to do because this man controls his future at work.  Josh decides to speak up, saying “Those jokes aren’t funny, and you’re making us all uncomfortable.” 

ALLY BEHAVIOR:

I will believe victims.

 

ALLY BEHAVIOR IN ACTION: 

Olivia hears a rumor at school that her friend Emma was assaulted by one of the more popular guys at school after a party.  A lot of people at school are saying that Emma made it up to get attention.  Olivia finds Emma at lunch, and tells her that she supports her and will be there for her.

 

ALLY BEHAVIOR:

I will support victims.

 

ALLY BEHAVIOR IN ACTION:

Kate notices that one of the women in her neighborhood often has bruises.  Kate is concerned that her neighbor may be a victim of domestic abuse.  On a walk one morning, Kate tells her neighbor that she has noticed the bruises and invites her to talk when she is ready.  Kate has the phone number for Blackburn Center’s 24 hour hotline ready in case her neighbor wants to call.

 

ALLY BEHAVIOR:

I won’t blame victims.

 

ALLY BEHAVIOR IN ACTION:

Sophia is with a group of friends when she learns that an acquaintance has been assaulted.  The talk turns to the circumstances of the assault — what the woman was wearing, where she was, and how much she was drinking.  Sophia tells her friends that the only person at fault for the assault is the abuser, and nothing else is relevant.

 

ALLY BEHAVIOR: 

I will educate myself about gender-based violence.

 

ALLY BEHAVIOR IN ACTION:

Mark sees posts on social media for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  His first thought is “Why are they making such a big deal about this?” because he isn’t aware that it’s a problem.  He decides to research the issue, and is surprised to learn how common domestic violence is in his community.  He gets involved with a local organization dedicated to ending gender-based violence (like Blackburn Center).

ALLY BEHAVIOR: 

I will listen.

 

ALLY BEHAVIOR IN ACTION:

Nate and Jessica are having a discussion about an article that they both read online on the topic of catcalling when suddenly, Jessica starts crying.  At first, Nate’s uncomfortable about her reaction, but decides he wants to know more about what is happening for Jessica.  She tells him about the first time she was catcalled when she was 14, and how uneasy and unsafe it made her feel — and how walking alone still feels risky, more than 20 years later.  By listening, Nate understood more about how damaging catcalling is.

ALLY BEHAVIOR: 

I will think carefully about the media that I consume or share.

 

ALLY BEHAVIOR IN ACTION:

Jack works at a job site where they always listen to talk radio.  Recently, he noticed that a lot of what the hosts say is really degrading to women — talking about their bodies and describing them in an offensive manner.  Jack’s coworkers often use the same kind of language to talk about women.  He decides to speak up, and ask to listen to music instead of this type of programming.

 

ALLY BEHAVIOR:

I will challenge stereotypes.

 

ALLY BEHAVIOR IN ACTION:​

At his son’s baseball game, David hears a man sitting beside him yelling at the team to “stop throwing like a bunch of girls.”  David asks him, “What do you mean by ‘throwing like a bunch of girls’?” The man stops, looks at him, and does not shout that out again.

ALLY BEHAVIOR: 

I won’t body shame.

 

ALLY BEHAVIOR IN ACTION:

Elena meets a group of women at a park for a boot camp exercise class several times a week.  Recently, a new woman joined the group.  One of the regulars nudged her and laughed, saying that it’ll take more than boot camp for her to get a bikini body.  Elena replies, “I am happy that she is here with us,” and walks over to welcome the new class member. 

ALLY BEHAVIOR: 

I won’t laugh at homophobic jokes.

 

ALLY BEHAVIOR IN ACTION:

A gay couple walks into a bar one night.  Nico is with a group of friends, who promptly begin to mock them by acting very effeminate. Nico stops them, saying “That’s not funny.  Just knock it off and leave them alone.”

 

ALLY BEHAVIOR: 

I will use my voice.

 

ALLY BEHAVIOR IN ACTION: 

In the locker room after a workout, Jake’s workout buddies describe the women they saw in the gym that evening in lewd terms.  One describes how he kept purposefully brushing up against one of the women.  Jake finishes changing and says, “That’s not cool, man.”

ALLY BEHAVIOR: 

I will be a role model for men and boys.

 

ALLY BEHAVIOR IN ACTION:

Jon is at the pool with his nephew when they pass by a group of guys talking about young women at the pool in a disrespectful manner.  Jon sees the look on his nephew’s face and decides to tackle the issue head on by having a talk with him.  Jon asks his nephew how he felt about the way those guys were talking about the women, and tells him that he has made a choice to not talk or act like that.

 

ALLY BEHAVIOR: 

I will be mindful of the language that I use.

 

ALLY BEHAVIOR IN ACTION:

Pat grew up in a time when it was common to use words that are now considered offensive in everyday language.  Over the years, he has learned that some of these things — like saying “that’s so gay” — are really offensive.  Although he doesn’t always succeed, he makes a conscious choice every day to be careful with the language that he uses so that he is respectful of others.

ALLY BEHAVIOR: 

I will call out abusive behaviors.

 

ALLY BEHAVIOR IN ACTION:

Ed’s girlfriend recently broke up with him because of his controlling behavior.  Over drinks one night, Ed lets it slip to his friend Mike that he still drives by his ex’s house and work, calls and texts her constantly, and sends her messages via social media.  Mike realizes that this isn’t just “lovesickness” — it’s stalking.  Mike tells Ed that he is stalking his ex-girlfriend, and that he needs to stop it.

How to Be an Ally

At our 2019 Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event, we focused on what each of us can do to be an ally.  An ally is a person from a group with privilege who stands up in support of members of another group. Typically, this is a member of a dominant group standing beside member(s) of a group being discriminated against or treated unjustly, using their position of privilege to call out behaviors of their dominant group. It is important for allies to recognize that they do not have the life experience of the members of the group they are supporting, and so can never truly speak on behalf of this group.

There are a number of ways that each of us can be allies in our everyday lives.  Here are some examples of how YOU can be an ally.

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Since 1976, Blackburn Center has been providing services to victims of domestic and sexual violence and other types of violence and crime in Westmoreland County, and presenting education programs across this community.  You can learn more about types of abuse, our services, or ways to get help if you are a victim of violence or crime.  All of our services are FREE and CONFIDENTIAL, and can be ANONYMOUS.
 

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Blackburn Center

PO Box 398

Greensburg, PA 15601

24-Hour Hotline:

724-836-1122 or

1-888-832-2272

The information on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to take the place of professional services or medical or mental health treatment.

 

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© 2016 |  Blackburn Center Standing To End Violence | PO Box 398 | Greensburg, PA  | 15601  | 724-837-9540

Serving Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania