Dallas Mayor Michael Rawlings said, “You can call a man who hits a woman a lot of things, but you can’t call him a man.”
Sir Patrick Stewart, who is most famous for his work in television and film, is also a leading activist in the fight against domestic violence. Last Friday he served as the host for the launch of “Ring the Bell,” a global campaign which Yahoo News explains calls on “1 million men to make 1 million ‘concrete, actionable promises’ to end violence against women.”
Over the last several years Stewart has spoken out about his own experiences as a child growing up in a home with domestic violence, he has described his father as “an angry and unhappy man who was not able to control his emotions—or his hands.” On Friday, while describing what that was like to the audience of about 200 politicians, actors, filmmakers and musicians Stewart said,
I became an expert. I knew exactly when to open a door and insert myself between my father’s fist and my mother’s body … The truth is my mother did nothing to deserve the violence she endured. She did not provoke my father—and even if she had, responding with violence is not an acceptable way with dealing with conflict.
Every nine seconds in the United States a woman is assaulted or beaten. Every nine seconds … Violence against women is the single greatest human rights violation of our generation. This is a call to action—not an action that will make things better in six months’ time or a year’s time, but action that might save someone’s life and someone’s future this afternoon, tonight, tomorrow morning.
Former NFL quarterback Don McPherson equates the need for men to confront men about domestic violence to the civil rights movement in the US. He said, “White people confronted white people to fight racism. Men need to confront men.”