OJ and Nicole. Chris and Rihanna. Sean Penn and Madonna. Eminem and Kim. Mike and Robin. Charlie and Denise. Ray and Janay.
These celebrity instances of domestic violence have filled our news feeds for decades, and are the more famous faces of the 1 in 3 women who experience some kind of physical abuse at the hand of their intimate partner. The most recent incident, involving now ex-NFL player Ray Rice, has raised the public awareness level of domestic violence to new heights. Blame or thank social media, but the horrific incident had more people vocalizing a public stance on abuse than ever before.
Men and women across the country spoke up loud and clear that we can’t and won’t stand for this kind of behavior any longer. With the support of efforts like National Domestic Violence Awareness Month this October, we can only hope that this abhorrent violence against women ends much sooner.
While it’s everyone’s responsibility to speak up for those who don’t have a voice, the loudest may come from men. When men speak out against domestic violence, it touches a nerve with male abusers and that’s when we start to see real change.
Jackson Katz calls violence against women a men’s issue; in fact, it’s the title of his highly acclaimed TED Talk in 2013. An educator, author, and co-founder of the 20-year-old organization Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP), Katz redirects the dialogue away from abuse being a woman’s issue.
“We need more men with the guts, with the courage, with the strength, with the moral integrity to break our complicit silence and challenge each other and stand with women and not against them,” commanded Katz in his atlk.
Thankfully, he’s not the only man with a famous face who uses his platform to raise awareness of this men’s issue.
- “Our silence is deafening and deadly.” — James Brown, CBS Sports
- “Young men need to show women the respect they deserve and recognize sexual assault and to do their part to stop it.” — Barack Obama, President of the United States
- “There is never a reason for any man to be violent towards any woman.” Chris Harris, host of The Bachelor
- “Men have an important role to play in sending out the message that real men do not hurt or abuse their partners.” — Ian Somerhalder, actor
- “Those of us who have the eyes and ears of the media have a responsibility to amplify the voices of the voiceless.” — Peter Gabriel, singer
- “One of the most basic things we can do is let the men in our lives know it’s not okay to mistreat a woman.” — Tim McGraw, singer
- “But think about how evil that is for one man to think that he’s actually more valuable than a woman, because as a human being your worth is immeasurable.” — Terry Crews, actor
- “I encourage everyone to help take a stand against domestic violence.” — Gordon Ramsey, chef
- “The more that we choose not to talk about [domestic violence], the more we shy away from the issue, the more we lose.” — Russell Wilson, NFL Seattle Seahawks
- “The people who could do most to improve the situation of so many women and children are in fact, men. It’s in our hands to stop violence towards women.” — Patrick Stewart, actor
- “Success will come when the societal attitude changes and not a single woman in America asks herself the question ‘What did I do?'” — Joe Biden, Vice President of the United States
TapGenes Take Away: 1 in 3 women is the victim of physical abuse. 12 famous men lend their voice to changing the tide of this “women’s” issue.
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