A few of our staff recently attended a conference, where we learned all about the independent movement of video games against violence. Games have typically been made by and for white, cisgender men. Because of the ways society teaches men how to express their feelings through violence and disrespect women, we see a lot of domestic, physical, sexual, and verbal violence in mainstream games. Examples of this include: Grand Theft Auto, where players are encouraged to use the services of sex workers and then murder them to get their money back; the game Rapeplay, which needs no explanation; and Fable 3, where you can win a Henry VIII achievement for killing 2 of your spouses. To work against this violence, we have a list of anti-violence video games to play, and introduce to your friends, children, or coworkers.
ANTI-VIOLENCE GAME ROUNDUP
The Room Beneath the Rafters
Another Lost Phone: Laura's Story
Decisions That Matter
What It Is Quiz Game
Teen Dating Violence
Many great games and resources through Jennifer Ann's Group
Pic'd- Kids Help phone
Consent Education & Healthy Relationships
That's Not Cool
Trauma & Survivorship
Get the most updated list at www.kenziegordon.com. Let us know what you think!
1) Start the Conversation – let them know you have noticed certain things that concern you. Ask them if they have noticed the same and how that behavior makes them feel? Help your friend identify these behaviors by connecting them to resources or sharing information about healthy relationship signs.
2) Be Supportive – remember your friend may not recognize the abuse or even want to leave or stop. This is difficult when you clearly see the signs. When talking to your friend or if your friend approaches you with concerns, be supportive. Don’t judge them, keep an open mind and help them get the resources they need like creating a safety plan.
3) Keep Your Communication Door Open – your friend needs you to listen and be supportive. What you see or hear may make you frustrated and upset. If this happens try to stay calm. If you give your friend an ultimatum like “if you don’t leave, I won’t talk to you again” that closes the door of communication. People in abusive relationships will most commonly speak out to a friend first and sometimes they won’t talk to anyone else. If you shut your door and tell them that you won’t talk to them again, you may be shutting down their only resource or connection to help. Instead, let them know that you want to help and can connect them to resources when they are ready.
4) When in Need Get Support – If you feel that your friend is in immediate danger or that their life is at risk or has been threatened, you may want to get emergency support by calling 911. It may not be your first choice for help, but if things are serious it’s important to call professionals for support. Remember boundaries, warning signs and healthy relationships are not as clear when you are in an abusive relationship. That’s why it’s important to educate your friends and community about dating abuse and how to have a healthy relationship.
From Break the Cycle
It can feel frustrating and hopeless to see someone we love stay with their abusive partner. There are lots of difficult reasons why people don't just leave the people who are hurting them. It's important to be understanding of these things. Instead of getting annoyed at their choice to stay, remember to let them know that you care about them, and the ways in which you (or supports like Safe Haven) can support them. They will leave if/when they are ready to. Your support and understanding will mean everything to them.