The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is uniting football and rugby clubs across the capital in support of a landmark new campaign speaking directly to men and boys about how their actions can help end violence against women and girls. Brentford FC has pledged their support to the campaign alongside other football clubs across London.
Launching this week, the Mayoral initiative aims to challenge the sexist attitudes and inappropriate behaviours exhibited by some men in order to tackle the epidemic of misogyny and violence against women and girls. Research by UN Women UK indicated that 71 per cent of all women have experienced some form of sexual harassment in a public space with this number rising sharply to 86 per cent among 18-24 year olds.
Brentford Ambassador, Marcus Gayle, attended the campaign launch at Selhurst Park alongside Sadiq Khan, Crystal Palace boss, Patrick Viera and Bromley captain Byron Webster. The hard-hitting campaign carries the message: “Male violence against women and girls starts with words. If you see it happening, have a word with yourself, then your mates.”
Marcus Gayle commented: “This is an important issue, and it is up to all of us to take responsibility to make society safer for women and girls. We can all play our part whether that is to challenge our own behaviour or the behaviour of those around us. Brentford FC are proud to be part of this initiative and I have no doubt that our fans will feel proud too.”
A campaign video depicts a scenario all too familiar to women and girls across the country by focusing on an interaction between a group of men and a lone woman waiting for a taxi home. The video demonstrates how men’s words and actions can make women feel unsafe and calls on men not to be bystanders, but to call out other men, including their friends, whenever they see harassment happening.
Brentford will also be installing the campaign message on mirrors in the men’s bathrooms in Brentford Community Stadium, directing men to reflect on their own actions. We will also feature an open letter from the Mayor to Bees fans in the match day programme, which will ask men to reflect on the way they personally view, treat and talk about women.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “In London and across the country we are facing an epidemic of violence against women and girls, committed by men. This must unsettle us all and force us to take a long hard look at ourselves.
“As men, we need to be reflecting on the way we view, treat and talk about women. That’s why this new campaign is about talking directly to men and boys to get the message across that words matter and that there’s a link between misogyny and violence.
“I want all of us to be challenging sexism and misogyny - whether it’s on the streets or online in a group chat, at home or in the pub – because we all have a responsibility to raise our voices to prevent violence and to help keep women and girls safe.
“Male violence against women and girls can start with words. If you see it happening, have a word with yourself, then your mates or whoever is behind it. It’s time we kick these rotten attitudes and behaviours out of our city and society for good.”
If you would like to find out more and pledge your support to the campaign, click here.