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#ChangeTheStory: The importance of male allyship in ending violence against women

29 November 2023

4 mins

Topic warning: This article is about male violence against women.

Societal attitudes, culture and behaviours can be a root cause of violence against women by men. Societies like White Ribbon, work to prevent violence by addressing ‘harmful and dominant masculine norms’. One of the ways we can challenge this is through male allyship. At Loughborough, the Maia Network has a number of male allies who speak with the group to stop the violence and make the changes needed. What follows in this blog post is the supportive voice of one of Maia’s male allies:

I’ve come up with a short, personal and practical list of things that all men could do:

Do the reading – Learning about privilege, equity and how harmful norms are created is a good start.  Educating yourself to be able to informatively lead discussions and not just talk about violence but the behaviours and attitudes is even better. 

Listen – Violence against women often goes unreported. It is estimated that 1 in 4 women in the UK experienced domestic violence in the last year. These rates rise considerably when we consider women of colour and vulnerable groups such as asylum seekers. These women could be your colleagues, your friends, your neighbours. Just being ready to listen, believe and support can make a huge difference.

Talk – We men could just talk more.  I have a great group of friends, a great family, and brilliant colleagues who share stuff and are always up for a chat. Talking about anything is good but, in this instance, talking to men about how we end violence against women and girls is hugely important. Unlocking and sharing your feelings, thoughts and hopes is a great way to start making the world just that little bit better – for you and everyone around you.

Show up – Just being present, being a good role model within your community, family and at work helps hugely. The lack of good male role models isn’t just about fathers showing up, it is about all of us. Every day as a colleague, being present, being open and ready to do better is hugely important.

Call it out – You know that mate of yours who tells those inappropriate jokes or wolf whistles at women on a night out?  Have you ever just asked him to stop? It can be daunting to start a conversation like this but challenging, educating, and removing toxic behaviours can only make the world a better place. It is not easy but what is the worst that could happen? Maybe you’ll lose a ‘friend’ – but is somebody acting like this really a great loss to you? Calling out harmful attitudes, systems and behaviours around masculinity whether in person or online is so important to bringing about change.  And you can do it. We all can.

…and there is plenty more we can do: ie donate or raise money to women’s organisations, showing support through wearing the White Ribbon and signing the White Ribbon pledge.  If you do just one step of the above list, it’s a start. Starting is important. 

Further support and how to report an incident 

If you have witnessed or experienced any harmful behaviours and would like support and/or to report this, please contact the Duty, Assessment & Inclusivity Team (DAI) at or complete the Incident Reporting Tool.

Alternatively, you can seek support and/or report to Campus Security, who are available 24/7 on campus and off campus. 

If you are ever in danger or need immediate support, please call 999 in an emergency. 

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Reflections, comments, discussion and opinion on EDI topics from Loughborough University staff and students

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