“It’s a Men’s Issue” – Ending Violence against Women Can Only Happen When Men Step Up

Thursday, 30th June 2022, Dublin: Today, Women’s Aid, in partnership with Trinity College Dublin, is hosting a public lecture on the topic of “Violence against Women is a Men’s Issue”.  The main speaker is Dr Jackson Katz, a leading global figure in the growing movement of men working to end men’s violence against women. Women’s Aid is hosting the event to build understanding on the role that men have in tackling domestic abuse and all other forms of violence against women.   At the event, Dr Katz will outline key opportunities and practical tools for engaging men and young men of all backgrounds in the prevention of sexual assault, relationship abuse, and other forms of gender-based violence.  The gathering is timely because of the recent launch of the Government’s third national strategy on domestic, sexual and gender based violence.  Women’s Aid hopes that today’s event will encourage more men to become leaders and allies in the journey towards zero tolerance of violence against women.

Sarah Benson, CEO, Women’s Aid says:

“In Ireland, there continues to be a national focus on tackling violence against women. Rightly so.  This issue has been brought into sharp focus because of the Covid-19 pandemic but also a number of high profile attacks and killings of women, including the shocking death of Ashling Murphy earlier this year.  One in four women experience domestic abuse in Ireland.  In a recent survey by Women’s Aid, we found that one in five young women had experienced abuse by an intimate partner before the age of 25.  Over half of these young women experienced the abuse under the age of 18.  Gender based violence is a scourge on Irish society and limits the potential of all women affected.”

Ms Benson continues:

“Some men today, subject too many women and girls to horrendous abuse and violence.  This is a fact.  However, it should not be ‘a fact of life’ for our young people.   We have, within our grasp, a unique opportunity to really create a zero tolerance of violence and create an equal society for women and girls.  Crucially, we need more male leaders across all sectors and strata in society to step up and become a strong voice to call out everyday sexism, misogyny and gender inequality.”

Speaking ahead of the event, Dr Jackson Katz says:

“Preventing violence against women is fundamentally a leadership issue for men at all levels of political power, institutional authority, and cultural influence.  There are interconnections between men’s violence against women, other men, and themselves, all with an intersectional lens that links incidents of interpersonal abuse to larger institutional and societal forces, and the belief systems that underlie them.  Our movement is critical in ending violence against women, men and children. Everyone.”

Sarah Benson outlines:

“We are delighted to host Dr Katz and hear more about the MVP programme, the first large-scale anti gender based violence program of its kind in the university and professional sports culture and all branches of the U.S. military.  We have a lot to learn but we have to do it now as a matter of urgency.  The Government’s latest national strategy, launched earlier this week, is an ambitious plan. It coincides with, and supports, our own mission. However, achieving zero tolerance of all forms of violence against women will only be possible when all men recognise they have a role to play and step up.”

Ms Benson concludes:

“Hosting this important event, in partnership with Trinity College Dublin is a part of Women’ Aid commitment to supporting and empowering everyone, and particularly men, into their leadership to work co-operatively together with women and other people to build a more equal and compassionate society where violence is not tolerated.”

Register for the event: Click here.

For more information: contact Christina Sherlock on 087 919 2457 or by email christina.sherlock@womensaid.ie.

Notes to editors and producers:

  • Details of the Governments Third National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence can be found here
  • Key Statistics:
    • There were 26,906 contacts with Women’s Aid in 2021 included: 21,126 contacts with the 24hr National Freephone Helpline (18,911 calls responded to; 1,420 Instant Message support sessions; 795 Helpline Emails responded to).  It also included 5,780 Face-to-Face Support Services in Greater Dublin area (994 One-to-One sessions; 2,098 Email and telephone support; 140 Court Accompaniments; 905 Drop-in visits at Dolphin House and 1,643 High-Risk support session, emails and calls.)
    • 33,831 disclosures of abuse against women and children were made including 28,096 disclosures of domestic violence including coercive control against women. (19,902 emotional abuse; 4,707 physical abuse; 1,104 economic abuse; 2,383 sexual abuse, including 411 disclosures of rape) and 5,735 disclosures of child abuse in the context of domestic violence.
    • Perpetrator breakdown: 57% current male perpetrator; 25% ex-male partner; 11% other male; 7% female abuser.
    • 96% of contacts with the National Helpline were from women. 4% were from men.
    • There were 213,206 visits to www.womensaid.ie  and 17,122 visits to toointoyou.ie
    • At least 1 in 4 women in Ireland are subjected to some form of abuse from a current or former partner. (EU Fundamental Rights Agency, Violence against women: An EU-wide survey, 2014).
    • About Dr Jackson Katz:           
      • Jackson Katz, Ph.D., is an educator, author, and social theorist who has long been a major figure and thought leader in the growing global movement of men working to promote gender equality and prevent gender violence. He is co-founder of the multiracial, mixed-gender Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program, one of the longest-running and most widely influential gender violence prevention programs in North America, Europe, Australia, and beyond.
      • MVP was the first large-scale program of its kind in the university and professional sports culture and all branches of the U.S. military. Among its many accomplishments, MVP introduced the “bystander” approach to the gender violence prevention field; Katz is one of the key architects of this now broadly popular educational strategy.
      • Since 1990, Katz has delivered thousands of keynote addresses and conducted trainings in educational institutions, sports organizations, NGO’s, community organizations, and small and large companies in all 50 U.S. states, 8 Canadian provinces, and every continent except Antarctica.
      • Katz is the creator of Tough Guise and Tough Guise 2, the award-winning and widely used educational documentaries, as well as The Bystander Moment: Transforming Rape Culture at Its Roots, and The Man Card: White Male Identity Politics from Nixon to Trump. He is the author of two critically acclaimed books, including the classic bestseller The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help.
      • He has appeared on radio and TV programs across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, including The Oprah Winfrey Show and The CBS Morning Show. His TEDx talk, “Violence against Women is a Men’s Issue,” has been translated into 27 languages and has been viewed more than 5 million times.