Lewes Town Councillors unanimously backed Lewes Football Club’s campaign to curb violence against women and girls at a Council meeting last week.
The Rooks CallHimOut campaign aims to persuade men to ‘call out’ sexist and misogynistic behaviour when they encounter it.
“It is up to men to take action,” said Lewes FC Director Karen Dobres. “Fighting sexism and misogyny, so that women can be and feel safe, is the responsibility of men.
“We accept that how all men talk about women contributes to an environment where some men assault women and where all women can feel unsafe in their everyday lives.”
A motion from Cllrs Emily Clarke, Imogen Makepeace and John Lamb called on male Councillors to adopt the campaign, making a pledge to fight sexism and misogyny, adding the CallHimOut logo to their email signatures and learning more through training about how to challenge bad behaviour in a safe way.
“Sexual assault is such a widespread, daily occurrence that it is rare to find a woman who has not experienced some kind of sexual harassment or assault,” said Cllr Clarke.
“The World Health Organisation reports that roughly one in three women around the world has been subjected to physical or sexual violence.”
With the help of two male directors and a male player, Lewes FC is developing a programme for the men’s first team to talk together, and then to mentor under 18 players.
“We commit to making a difference through our own language and behaviour: we will call ourselves out and welcome being ‘called out’ by each other, and we will lead the way in making the world a safer place for women and a better place for us all,” the Club said.
Cllr Lamb presented male Councillors with lapel ribbons in Lewes FC colours. “Repeated surveys reveal a shocking tsunami of hatred against women, which demands action,” said Cllr Lamb.
“Lewes FC deserves our support for its brave stand. The Town Council will do what it can to bring about a much-needed culture change.”