Men must step up to end violence against women, CFL player says

When Keon Raymond was growing up, he didn’t understand why his mother stayed with his abusive father. So one day, he asked her.

“My mom’s reason was she just wanted us to know who our father was,” said Raymond, a former Calgary Stampeder who’s now an advocate encouraging men to oppose violence against women.

“She endured all those things over the years just so we knew who our father was. Which I couldn’t believe, but growing up in St. Louis, the majority of my friends didn’t have a father around.”

“I didn’t agree with it, but that was her reasoning,” he added. “Every woman has a different reason why they stay, what prevents them from leaving.”

Raymond told his story Wednesday at the 12th annual Breakfast with the Guys, a fundraiser for the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters. The event aims to teach men what they can do to end violence against women, said ACWS executive director Jan Reimer.

“If men call out the behaviours of other men … you can deescalate situations, you can have people understand this kind of behaviour is not OK,” she said.

While the conventional wisdom is that domestic violence spikes during recessions, Reimer said that’s not the case: Alberta’s shelters are as busy in booms as they are in busts. The ACWS will release its annual statistics on shelter visits next month. Last year, over 5,000 women accessed a shelter in Edmonton, many with children in tow.

Wednesday’s breakfast was the first since the string of sexual misconduct allegations against powerful men in politics, media and entertainment industries, beginning with Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

Reimer said the “Weinstein effect” has changed how people treat women who come forward with stories about sexual abuse.

“Encouraging women and believing them, instead of saying ‘well why did you let him do that,’ is I think …read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal

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