Although gender- and power-based violence has historically been framed as a “women’s issue,” we must recognize that violence affects all of us - and in order to change our culture, we must take a holistic public health approach.
In public health, there are 3 tiers of interventions: tertiary (responding after something has already occurred), secondary (intermediary interventions), and primary (preventing something from ever happening in the first place).
At Safer we take a primary prevention response to violence. We believe that violence is not inevitable, and we have the ability (and responsibility!) to educate ourselves and our communities to prevent harm from occurring. For wrap-around holistic advocacy, we additionally provide resources in secondary and tertiary prevention, such as crisis counseling and advocacy.
To work in primary prevention, we must get to the root cause. Why does this violence happen? Where does it come from in our relationships, our communities, our society?
We know that this violence doesn't come out of the blue - it is rooted in a historical & cultural context of supremacy, power & control. Foundations of power imbalance formulate normalized attitudes & beliefs that escalate to degradation and then explicit violence. The continuum of violence above shows how these attitudes & beliefs at a cultural level allow for violence to occur - we must be active bystanders at all levels for true prevention.
So... what do we do?
There are many ways to get involved in this movement, based on your emotional capacity, energy levels, privilege to leverage, etc. Everyone has a place in prevention - click here for some ideas to get you started.