Join Your Power

“I’m a fighter. It’s my job. It’s my passion. But one of my golden rules is to always keep my aggression inside the ring.”

Cathal Pendred. A UFC fighter. A battler against domestic violence.

When it comes to talking about MAN UP, we think that our campaign champion this year sums it up brilliantly with his heartfelt thoughts:

“I know from experience growing up that boys today are under a lot of pressure, to be macho, to be strong – and to find their place in life. Unfortunately, for a minority of boys and men, that strength can be misplaced.

As men and boys I believe we have real power. Each of us has our own unique individual set of strengths. But I believe we have one common power. And that’s the power to stand up against domestic violence. To challenge the abuse of women and children.

Power and strength come in many forms – physical, mental, emotional. With that power and strength comes responsibility. As a man, and as a fighter, domestic violence appalls me. It’s something I’m proud to stand up against – and do whatever I can to prevent it happening.”

Stand Against Domestic Violence

MAN UP is a SAFE Ireland campaign. It was launched in 2012 and has been growing in support for four years now. MAN UP is a campaign with a simple but powerful focus. It’s about men showing leadership, pride and courage to stand against domestic violence. To challenge the abuse of women and children.

Cathal Pendred is helping SAFE Ireland this year to promote the positive role that men can play in raising awareness about, and stopping, domestic violence.

Over the years, many men have supported MAN UP. Our supporters include broadcaster Ryan Tubridy, rugby star Rob Kearney, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, along with many other sports stars, entertainers, politicians and community leaders. Standing alongside them have been the thousands of men in sports clubs, work places, schools and colleges who have committed to preventing domestic violence by joining in and supporting the MAN UP activities of our member organisations.

MAN UP has also caught the international imagination. Last year, MAN UP was launched in Sweden where the first MAN UP town was declared. It was also reported on in Italy and has many followers in the United States.

About Cathal Pendred

Cathal was educated in Belvedere College, Dublin and won a Leinster Senior Cup medal in 2005 alongside future Irish rugby international Cian Healy. Cathal attended Dublin City University where he studied forensics. He graduated with a BSc degree in Analytical Science in 2012. Cathal is proud and happy to front MAN UP.

MAN UP is a SAFE Ireland campaign

SAFE Ireland is a leading national organisation, working to make Ireland a safer place for women and children. Our 40 member organisations provide vital specialist support services to women and children impacted by domestic violence. We work together to centre-stage and publicise the experiences of thousands of women and children who have been abused.

We carry out research and publish annual, national statistics on the prevalence of domestic violence. We collate the experiences of our member services and give them and the survivors a voice, sharing their experiences and the enormity of domestic violence in our country.  We work in collaboration with our members, government departments, state agencies and others to ensure that the complexity of domestic violence is fully understood and that it is not tolerated under any guise.  We want society to take responsibility for the eradication of violence against women.

About Gender-based violence

Gender-based violence (GBV) is defined as any violence that is directed against a person on the basis of gender.

Gender-based violence and violence against women are often used interchangeably as most gender-based violence is inflicted by men on women and girls. It is estimated that up to 25% of women have experienced some form of gender-based violence in their lives. (WHO, 2013)

Gender-based violence reflects and reinforces inequalities between men and women.  Although it is difficult to distinguish between different types of violence since they are not mutually exclusive, gender-based violence includes domestic violence, sexual harassment, rape, sexual violence during conflict, traditional harmful practices such as female genital mutilation, forced marriages, trafficking, forced prostitution, forced sterilization, abortion or female infanticide.

The World Health Organisations recognizes that “one of the most common forms of violence against women is that perpetrated by a husband or male partner.” It’s what is too often referred to as “just a domestic”.

This domestic violence is frequently invisible since it happens behind closed doors.  Compounding this, legal systems and cultural norms do not treat it as a crime, but rather as a “private” family matter, or in some cultures, a normal part of life.