Suppose a friend of yours comes to you and tells you that they have been harassed or assaulted by someone in roller derby. Perhaps you know this person. Perhaps he is a friend of yours. Your natural inclination may be to defend him. “But he’s never done anything like that to me!” Or perhaps your first thought may be to rationalize his behavior away. “Well, he was drunk–and you know how he gets.” Before you say anything, please stop.
Listen to your friend.
And then take the advice from blogger sleazethezebra, who published this article in December 2014 regarding how to be an ally in three easy steps.
We urge you to read sleaze’s article. But for the lazy among us, a summary:
- Ask. See a situation you’re not sure about? Ask. Hey, are you cool with this person’s attention? Are you okay? Everything cool over here?
- Don’t blame. You’ve ascertained something is wrong. No matter what the situation is, don’t tell the victim they had it coming. Don’t be that person who says something like, “Well, he was flirting, so he clearly wanted it.” Just. Don’t.
- Be the change. Don’t leave it to those being harassed or abused to stand up for themselves alone. If you see something, say something. Loudly. On blast. Don’t tolerate that which is intolerable.