Brahmacharya in action

June 2023 by Amuna

Brahmacarya is often translated as continence and also interpreted as ethical sexuality. As it is one of the five yamas, it is a rule of conduct in dealing with other living beings and the environment. One way to live brahmacarya in everyday life is to treat our own sexual partners ethically. Another way might be to support other beings that have experienced sexual harassment and abuse.

Here are a few ways we can provide support:  

1️⃣ Believe and validate: Start by believing the survivor’s account of the incident. Show empathy, listen attentively, and assure them that their feelings and experiences are valid. It is essential to create a safe and non-judgmental space for them to express themselves.

2️⃣ Be non-blaming: Avoid victim-blaming or asking questions that imply fault on the survivor’s part. Recognize that the responsibility for sexual harassment and abuse lies solely with the perpetrator. Help challenge societal attitudes that perpetuate victim-blaming.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

3️⃣ Educate yourself: Take the initiative to educate yourself about sexual harassment and abuse. Understand the psychological impacts survivors may face and familiarize yourself with available resources and support networks. Being knowledgeable allows you to provide better support.

4️⃣ Promote Consent Education: Advocate for comprehensive and age-appropriate sex education that includes discussions on consent, boundaries, and healthy relationships. Support initiatives that aim to implement consent education in schools and communities.

5️⃣ Engage in Dialogue: Initiate conversations about sexual harassment and abuse with friends, family, colleagues, and community members. Encourage open discussions, challenge harmful beliefs, and share information on prevention and support resources.

6️⃣ Engage men as allies: Encourage men to actively participate in the movement and speak out against sexual harassment and abuse. Promote healthy masculinity and challenge harmful gender stereotypes that perpetuate such behaviors.

7️⃣ Stop supporting perpetrators: It might be hard to believe that your beloved artist, musician, or yoga teacher is a perpetrator. Nonetheless, it is crucial to stand with survivors and declare one’s solidarity with them. 

Remember that advocating for change is an ongoing process, and it requires persistence, collaboration, and collective action. By taking these steps, you can live brahmacarya in your everyday life and contribute to a safer and more inclusive society for all.

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