New events call on people working with young men to help Women's rights's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights

Amnesty International is calling on men who work with young men and boys to help tackle violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights, at a nationwide series of new events entitled Involving Men (1). The London event takes place on 1 April at Amnesty’s Human Rights Action Centre, with further events in Scotland (30 March), Northern Ireland (3 April) and Wales (5 April).

The events aim to provoke discussion and debate, and will explore the potential for setting up outreach and education projects in the UK. They are organised in conjunction with WOMANKIND Worldwide (London), the Men’s Health Foundation (Scotland) and the British Association of Social Workers (Wales and Northern Ireland).

The keynote speaker in London will be Patrick Lemmon, co-founder of Washington-based Men Can Stop Rape. The organisation works to empower young men and those that work with them to join with Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in preventing rape and other violence. Men Can Stop Rape has trained more than 6,000 youth workers across the USA and has conducted Awareness-to-Action workshops for more than 30,000 youth and youth-serving professionals. It also runs “Men of Strength” clubs in schools and colleges, and a successful media campaign using sporting figures to tackle macho imagery.

Other speakers include representatives from Canada’s White Ribbon Campaign (speaking in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), Masimanyane Men’s Project from South Africa and the Acid Survivors Foundation from Bangladesh. Deputy General Secretary of UNISON, Keith Sonnet, will address the London event.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

“Men’s role in tackling violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights is absolutely crucial – and this means more than just stopping the perpetrators.

“Many men feel that violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights simply isn’t a problem that they need to address or even think about.

“We hope through these events to kick-start a process whereby people working with young men can start to address some of these attitudes.”

Research carried out for Amnesty International with men indicates that many feel they have little personal knowledge about violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights. It is seen as a daunting, emotionally charged issue and therefore very hard to talk about ‘safely’ or meaningfully, and that there is a real sense of powerlessness, with men unclear as to what they can or should do about it. A survey showed that 74% men would call the police or RSPCA if they knew someone was kicking or mistreating their dog, while only 53% would report to the police if they knew someone was kicking or mistreating their partner. (2)

Amnesty is hoping that social workers, youth workers and others who work or have contact with young men will attend the event at 17-25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA. Those interested should call Heather Harvey, Amnesty’s Women's rights's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights Campaign Manager, on 020 7033 1583 for details.

Notes

(1) The event is called Real Men in Northern Ireland
(2) BBC Hitting Home Research by ICM 2003

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