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Media Release: MANifest Change - Men and male youth commit to helping end violence against women

Today, a group of men and male teenagers took pledges to do their part in helping to end an important community and global issue - violence against women.

Media Release (11/05/2014) Ottawa, ON - It's all part of a newly launched campaign, I can MANifest change, which invites men, male teenagers, and boys, to become engaged by committing themselves in some way to helping to solve the prevalent issue of violence against women.

Through the campaign, men and boys can upload a picture of themselves to the I can MANifest change website and take a personal pledge.

"On the surface, the campaign's call to action is for men and boys to upload a selfie and take a pledge. But another show of commitment will happen on the street, in classrooms, during sports practice, and in homes, where they start to challenge the unacceptable behaviours of others towards women," said Matt Schaaf, Coordinator of the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women (OCTEVAW) I Can MANifest Change Project. "Sexist jokes, abusive relationships, street harassment ̶ it needs to stop and as a bystander, you can help."

"Violence against women is not a women's issue. Men and male youth are a big part of the solution for ending violence against women," said Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau. "Not only can we help support victims, we can also help prevent this violence in the first place. By acting and thinking a certain way, you can influence and change the behaviours of those around you."

The campaign leverages men from the community in the launch video, such as Ottawa Senator hockey player Marc Methot, to act as role models for others and provide examples of how others can MANifest change in a safe way.

The campaign launch takes place during Crime Prevention week, which runs from November 2-8.

"Prevention is key to ending violence against women," said Sharmaarke Abdullahi with Crime Prevention Ottawa. "That's one of the reasons we timed our campaign kick-off during Crime Prevention Week - to highlight the opportunity everyone has to get engaged in this important issue and break the cycle of violence."

The campaign is a partnership between the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women (OCTEVAW), Crime Prevention Ottawa, and the Ottawa Police Service. It was launched at Longfields-Davidson Heights Secondary School which has already taken great strides to lead change in their community on ending violence against women, with their own Man Up!2014 initiative.

"Young men such as ourselves have a role in today's society. We have the opportunity to make sure everyone truly understands what it means to be a man," said Euan Scoffield, one of the students leading the ManUp!2014 campaign. "It's our responsibility to do the right thing and take action and raise awareness. It's time to step up and end violence against women."

Take your pledge! Men and boys looking to get involved and take their pledge can visit the I can MANifest change website

Want to do more?

We need you to help us connect young men ages 13-18 with our Male Champions. Male Champions facilitate MANifest Change workshops to help young men recognize violence in all its forms, and practice ways to respond to violence when we encounter it. If you want to see young men in your school, neighbourhood or community organization MANifest Change, check out our Workshop FAQ and email Matt Schaaf, ICMC Coordinator at

If you're a young man looking to participate in a workshop and/or connect with a Male Champion, or if you have other questions, sign up here: or feel free to connect with Matt directly at



Ottawa Police Service
Media Relations Section
Tel: 613-236-1222, ext. 5366

Matt Schaaf, ICMC Project Coordinator
Tel: 613-237-1000 or 613-400-8727

Crime Prevention Ottawa
Nancy Worsfold, Executive Director
Tel: 613-580-2424, ext. 28518

Longfields-Davidson Heights Secondary School
Aaron Leach, High School Teacher
Tel: 613-843-7722

Comments on related story at CTV:

As disturbing allegations of high profile assault and sexual assault cases continue to dominate national headlines, a new grassroots campaign is launching asking men to “Man Up”.



jt: Nothing will change if we just look and say men must stop but not women as there are many cases where there the abusers.

Jimmy: Domestic violence and abuse is terrible and unacceptable. However, in actual studies over 30 years they have proven that women are responsible for 50% of instances of domestic violence. Sadly the police, courts etc do nothing when it is a woman assaulting a man. There are no shelters for abused men. They have NOTHING. However, and truly sadly, there is a large number of women who "claim" domestic abuse (that never occured) in order to get what they want. Research child custody disputes, single father suicides. MAN up and see the whole picture!

Laps: I support initiatives that are designed to reduce violence. However, i feel that initiatives like this portray violence against women as being worse than violence against men and that most men are violent. In fact, most men are not violent and men are more likely to be victims of violence than are women. All violence is bad. It must be difficult to be a young man in 2014. They are blamed for everything that is bad in society and there multiple programs to help young women and girls to get ahead, but there is nothing for young men and teenage boys.


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