Why Don’t Some Men Speak Up Against Abuse to Women?

  • Feel awkward/reluctant, don’t want to say the wrong thing, phrase something incorrectly;
  • Don‘t want to go against the status quo; May feel rejected by their peers;
  • Feel guilty as they are the perpetrators of abuse so remain silent or self-protective;
  • Some men feel it is a personal matter and they must not interfere.

What Might Help Men to Speak Up?

  1. We need more conversations happening in our communities around abuse.
  2. Everyday conversations need to become more normal and this taboo topic becomes destigmatised.
  3. Enhanced transparency and heightened awareness.
  4. Need to be educated and informed.
  5. Everyone has the right to live safely and not in fear of violence.
  6. Many Men fear backlash of speaking out, but this pales into insignificance with the daily fear that victims have both for themselves and their children.
  7. Men can provide practical assistance on community projects, raise the voice of women working in the domestic violence projects, and be allies in their own networks. Support survivors of abuse.
  8. Men can take small, active steps in their own social networks.
  9. Speak up if someone is making derogatory remarks, or being aggressive or abusive towards women.
  10. Take responsibility for your own behaviour. You have the means to control your own emotions.


  1. Talk the talk and walk the walk! So don’t make sexist comments or jokes.
  2. Nurture his emotional empathy and literacy: Is he feeling anger, isolation, fear or shame? Teach your son how to manage triggers for his rage, and encourage him to see the value in support.
  3. Encourage him to call out bad behaviour: Encourage him to consider the man he would like to be and the man he might feel uneasy to be around.

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