Let's Talk About Violence Against Women

Let's Talk About Violence Against Women

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Let’s talk: #violenceagainstwomen is a man's issue http://3bl.me/cfekpp @MaryKay's @craytonwebb on the good guy’s role in #DV awareness

Multimedia from this Release

Crayton with his three boys, Nelson, Cabot and Mitchell.

Thursday, November 6, 2014 - 1:30pm

CAMPAIGN: A Commitment to Ending Domestic Violence


I remember distinctly the moment that I finally got it. That I understood. The moment I realized that violence against women was more than just an issue Mary Kay had taken on as a priority philanthropic cause nearly twenty years ago. That it was my issue, my problem. That it was a man's issue. All of a sudden, for me it was finally personal.

I was fortunate not to have grown up in a home with domestic violence.  Had never been in a relationship where violence was prevalent. I was, and am, blessed to be in a loving marriage with three healthy, happy, and often rambunctious and loud, little boys.  

The story I read in the newspaper that particular morning suddenly made it all seem very real. The story was about a young man from a prominent and wealthy family who didn't take no for an answer from his girlfriend one night in the back seat of his car. He was being charged with rape. My judgment was swift - how could he not know better? And then -- oh God, I thought, what if my boys ever did something like that?

All of these horrific scenes flashed through my head of one of my now sweet little boys, grown up and hurting another person - hurting a woman. And then suddenly, it was all clear to me. It hit home. This is our problem! This is our issue!  There is no violence against women -- no domestic violence, no dating abuse -- without the abuser.  And that's us!  And how truly horrific that the only role we men have played in this issue up until now, is being the problem! 

Men must have another role, a larger part to play in the fight to end domestic violence. What I've come to fully understand since I read that article, is that it's just not enough for us men to be good guys. It's not enough for us to not abuse our spouse, girlfriend or loved one. It's just not enough to read articles every day about women who are hurt in our society by men who say they love them and for us to close the page and say, "What a shame, glad I'm not that type of guy."

I understand that talk is cheap and real change comes with action. But I've come to believe that the biggest job we men have in ending violence against women is just that: talk. Domestic violence awareness month may have just ended, but we need to continue talking to our sons about what it means to be a gentleman; talking to our daughters about what they should expect and not accept in a relationship; and, perhaps most important of all, talking to each other - other men - about what it means to be a real man.

But here's the problem. We tell ourselves that we don't know the circumstances. We shouldn't interfere. We might offend our buddy if we speak up to him about such a personal matter.

The fact is that it's offensive that in the year 2014 one in four women and one in three girls will experience abuse at the hand of a man who says he loves her! It's offensive that a child would grow up in a home with domestic violence thinking that abuse is a normal part of relationships. And it's offensive the only role men have played is as the abuser!

The message must be clear and simple - A REAL MAN WILL NEVER HURT A WOMAN!  Now, let's start talking!

Today's blog post is from Crayton Webb, Mary Kay Vice President of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility. Crayton oversees the company's global media and public relations team and is also responsible for Mary Kay's global CSR and philanthropic efforts. Crayton is chairman of the men's auxiliary for Genesis Women's Shelter in Dallas, HeROs (He Respects Others), and was recently appointed to the board of the Texas Council on Family Violence in Austin, Texas.  Follow Crayton on Twitter @craytonwebb.