“Dear men, I know, I know. You are not the problem. You are one of the good guys. This is a good thing. I recognize that there are more of us good men than bad. You do not perpetuate violence. You would never hit a woman. I understand that….On Oct. 2, 2015 I woke up a “good man” with my girlfriend Colleen Sillito beside me. “Have fun at yoga,”…those were the last four words I ever said to her. Colleen never made it to yoga. Instead she was ambushed by her ex common-law partner. He shot and killed her in the driveway outside her home in Fort Saskatchewan, subsequently taking his own life.” – Mike Cameron, Oct 2018 CBC.ca
“Do the best you can until you know better. And then when you know better, do better.”- Maya Angelou
What Mike Cameron and so many other good men impacted by the ripple effect of men’s violence against women discover, it’s not enough to be a “good man” committed to not harming women in order for violence against women and children and men to stop. We need everyone to be part of the solution, especially good men.
We thank you for contributing to our vision of a community where there is equality, respect, empathy and inclusion by being one of the good guys. And now we are calling on you to collaborate with us to do even better.
We believe home is supposed to be a safe haven. But for so many of the women and children we’ve supported, instead of feeling safe, they feel trapped, terrified and carry emotional scars long after the relationship has ended.
We believe home is supposed to be a place where you can show your full humanity. But for so many of the men we’ve supported in our Healthy Living and Partner Assault Response Group, instead of feeling free to show their vulnerability, they learned to hide their tears and put on the tough guise, as Jackson Katz coined it.
We believe abuse is a learned behaviour. We know from research that an equally involved father that teaches his son or daughter how to understand and express his or her emotions safely has been found to have a positive, long term impact on a child’s social, emotional and cognitive skills and is the number one buffer against using violence. (Michael Kaufman, The Time Has Come, Why Men Must Join the Gender Equality Revolution).
Better Men Make Better Societies
We are calling on good men like you to stand beside us to raise awareness about the devastating impacts of violence against women, the harm done to men from toxic masculinity and an unequal society. As well as to share information about a better way to raise boys and for men to relate to themselves and others. For years we heard men in the PAR program say they wished they learned “this stuff” (strategies and techniques for building and maintaining healthy relationships as well as safe and healthy ways to cope with emotional stressors) sooner. Our mission is to make it easy for you to share this life changing information with other men.
Will you answer the call?
As Mike Cameron continues in the CBC article, “If you’ve never had to think about this before, you’re privileged. And the problem with privilege is that it is often invisible. It is easy to ignore things that don’t directly impact your life.”
We are calling on you to use your privilege, your circle of influence and your passion for our community to share a better way. Share this and our other social media posts with the men in your community. Talk about what steps you are taking to embrace equality in your home and workplace. Dare to be vulnerable in conversations off and online. Show the next generation of men that vulnerability is strength, not weakness, consent matters and we all need to be part of the solution to end violence against women here and around the world. Keep the conversation going all year round. Together we can create a better world.