IF YOU'RE NOT PART OF THE SOLUTION
Edmonton Sun, Graham Hicks
Tue, September 9, 2008
The international women's shelter movement will likely recognize the First World Conference on Women's Shelters - 800 delegates at the Shaw Conference Centre through Friday - as a watershed.
It was the year that men bought in to the idea of being leaders in the stand against family violence.
You could sense a change in attitude at the "Breakfast With the Guys" yesterday morning, as many successful male community/corporate leaders wrapped their heads around athlete Jackson Katz's blunt message - that it's not enough to be an example alone: a good dad, a loving husband.
It's about speaking out, confronting and then helping those who abuse, introducing abuse prevention programs in the workplace or to youth sports programs.
It's about challenging TV programs that condone or glorify abuse.
In short, it's about treating abuse at the same level as alcoholism or drug addiction.
The concept that standing up to an abuser is a courageous, manly act, not a betrayal of the brotherhood.
Guys stepping forward at the breakfast included former Eskimo GM Hugh Campbell, hockey commentator Craig Simpson, the Eskimo brass.
This idea will catch fire internationally thanks to this conference, produced by Jan Reimer and the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters. They have done more for their cause than they'd ever believed possible.
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