Helsingborg stands up for women and Man Up Sweden

Helsingborg stands up for women and Man Up Sweden

November 25th was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The Man Up campaign started recently in Ireland to change abusive attitudes towards women.

Now the City of Helsingborg is standing up for women with the campaign Man Up Sweden.

Last year, almost 30,000 women in Sweden reported cases of assault, but the real figure is feared to be much higher. In the same year, just over 70,000 women sought help at one of Sweden’s women’s shelters.

Entrepreneur and Helsingborg ambassador Joachim Samuelsson is the organiser of the campaign Man Up Sweden, which was launched on November 25th. The Man Up campaign was initiated by the organisation SAFE Ireland, and it is now going global with Sweden being the first country to join.

“We’re launching the campaign Man Up Sweden today in order to change abusive attitudes and behaviour towards women in our society and also, hopefully, to help dramatically reduce the appalling statistics on assaults. If we want to make a difference, we need men to really engage in this issue. This is not a woman’s problem, it’s a man’s problem,” says Joachim Samuelsson.

Man Up Sweden aims to encourage huge numbers of people, and particularly men, to speak up openly and with one voice. Enough is enough. There are five key areas to take a stand against abusive behaviour and physical violence towards women, and which the campaign would like companies, associations and even entire cities to get involved in as well. The City of Helsingborg is the first city to support women and children as part of the Man Up Sweden campaign.

“We’re standing up for women and the campaign because it’s an important issue and its goes without saying that everyone should have the opportunity to live a life without fear of violence or threats. The campaign is entirely consistent with our vision of Helsingborg 2035 and a united city. By supporting this campaign we are supplementing the things we already do – support women’s shelters and non-violence groups for men – and therefore taking the issue to the next level,” says Peter Danielsson (M), Mayor of Helsingborg


For further information, please contact:

Joachim Samuelsson, entrepreneur, telephone +46 70-846 47 88

Peter Danielsson (M), Mayor of Helsingborg, telephone +46 42-10 50 87


MAN Up World – Make Our World SAFE for women and children

MAN UP, an Irish created campaign to highlight the positive role that men can play in ending violence against women, has been adapted, translated and is being launched in Sweden today to mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.


The Swedish roll-out is the first country “syndication” of MAN UP, which has been gaining global attention since it was launched by SAFE Ireland last month. The on-line MAN UP film has attracted over 80,000 views from nearly 80 countries in just a few weeks. Following international interest, SAFE Ireland has now created a new www.manupworld.org website to encourage and support more take-up globally. SAFE Ireland is the national organisation of domestic violence support services for women and children.

MAN UP was spotted by Swedish entrepreneur Joachim Samuelsson and his wife Petra while they were in Dublin in early November. Within a few weeks, they contacted SAFE Ireland, linked with domestic violence services and with other partners from business to sport in Sweden, and are now ready to go live.

“With MAN UP, Ireland is leading the way in encouraging men to stand against domestic violence,” said Sharon O’Halloran, CEO of SAFE Ireland. “MAN UP has a universal, positive message that behind every great man there is kindness, courage and support for women and children. It’s simple, it’s strong and it’s gaining traction.”

“MAN UP shows that Ireland can be a world leader in ending violence and encouraging equality,” she continued. “We are very excited by the development of the campaign in Sweden and see the potential for the campaign messages to spread globally. It is about people turning their passion into creative action, opening the doors in their social and business networks and spreading the awareness.

Joachim Samuelsson, is a successful “serial entrepreneur” and is currently chair of innovative Swedish IT company Crunchfish, which specializes in touchless interaction with mobile devices.

“MAN UP Sweden is aimed fundamentally at changing attitudes and behaviours towards women for once and for all,” he said. “We very much believe in the approach of the MAN UP campaign to engage men to stand up and say enough is enough. This is a powerful, universal message that speaks to every man in every country.”

The Irish and Swedish MAN UP campaigns have set a challenge for the 16 Days of Action Against Violence Against Women which runs from tomorrow, November 25th to December 10th. They are asking people to invite 10 friends to watch the MAN UP film and in Ireland to make a donation to the campaign and the work of SAFE Ireland with its 40 members throughout the country.

In Ireland, you can watch the MAN UP online film at www.manup.ie , share it and simply text SAFE to 50300 to donate €4.

100% of your donation goes to SAFE Ireland across most network operators. Some operators apply VAT which means that a minimum of €3.25 will go to SAFE Ireland. Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline: 0766805278.


Man Up Sweden – A call to action against domestic violence and abuse of women in Sweden


Petra and Joachim Samuelsson visting Dublin in early November, 2014.
(Photo: Tove Samuelsson November 17, 2014)

At lunchtime today, the steering group for Man Up Sweden will gather for the very first time at the restaurant Pålsjö Mat in Helsingborg. We will organize ourselves and discuss how we can create the maximum exposure in Sweden for the Irish campaign www.manup.ie, whose purpose is to work against domestic violence and abuse of women in society.

Sweden is one of the top countries in the world for equality between men and women. This is something to be proud of. Yet we are often horrified by news items showing that Sweden has a long way to go before becoming a country where women feel safe and have the same opportunities as men.

Reports show a weakness in the judicial system in rape cases, where research studies about sexual crimes are ignored. We know that verbal abuse and vulgar taunting is commonplace in school. We read about female journalists being bullied and abused on the Internet, and even subject to death threats simply for expressing their views in their line of work.

Too many women in Swedish homes live in constant fear of a controlling man, which in turn damages also the children living there. In business there is hardly any gender equality either. Typically, women are paid less for the same job and men have unlimited power in many business situations. How can things be so bad in one of the most equal societies in the world?

Two weeks ago, we were in Ireland in order to help our middle daughter settle into her new job at the Google European head office in Dublin. We had a fantastic weekend enjoying the warm Irish welcome and various cultural offerings such as Guinness and Irish coffee.

In the city centre, at Liberty Hall, we noticed a billboard advertisement. It was practically impossible to avoid, since it was 20 metres long and covered almost the whole side of the building. The campaign featured was Man Up, whose purpose is to make Ireland the safest place in the world for women and children.


Petra and Joachim Samuelsson stumbled over the campaign Man Up during a recent visit to Ireland.
(Photo: Joachim Samuelsson)

Having three grown-up daughters making their way in the world, we felt strongly that we wanted to bring this campaign to Sweden. Through their website www.manup.ie and by e-mail, we contacted the organization behind the campaign and asked whether it would be possible for us to run the campaign in Sweden. Our enquiry was positively received. They had launched the Man Up campaign a couple of weeks earlier and were receiving a fantastic response.

The United Nations General Assembly has designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. It is the perfect day to launch Man Up in Sweden and to call on all the good forces, especially from men, to speak up and say that enough is enough.

In order to really deal with the abuse and the structural barriers for women, men are required to get involved and commit to this campaign. This is not a women’s problem. It is a men’s problem and to solve it we need men who are ready to act for real change. Many women know the problem all too well and are already fighting. But, for women, it can be tough to challenge a man, since men who abuse lack respect for women.

Men may have a greater opportunity to succeed in this, but it takes courage to challenge another man, courage to voice your disapproval the next time someone tells a joke that belittles or exploits women or by refusing to operate in a context where the female perspective is missing. In acute situations where women are subject to domestic violence, Man Up will encourage us to intervene in a safe manner and take action to get help.

We must get better at recognizing abusive situations and having the courage to speak out when they happen. When more people decide to do this and abusive behaviour no longer is tolerated in society, it will lead to a culture shift which will create a softer society for all our sakes. Let’s no longer settle for being one of the most equal countries in the world. Let us become THE equal country.

Equality is based on mutual respect and it starts with you and me. Let us eliminate domestic violence and abuse against women in society once and for all. We know of no-one who would not welcome it. Together, let us build an equal society where women and children are safe and where everyone has the same opportunities.

Joachim and Petra Samuelsson live in Laröd, outside Helsingborg in Sweden, but will shortly move to Silicon Valley for three months to establish Malmö company Crunchfish in the USA. The couple discovered the Man Up campaign during a recent trip to Ireland.

Lynn Rosenthal, White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, and Ryan Tubridy Launch MAN UP 2014

Safe IrelandWhite House advisor for violence against women Lynn Rosenthal was the keynote speaker at the launch of MAN UP 2014. Ms Rosenthal said she admired Ireland for tackling gender roles so squarely and said men have a “moral responsibility to speak out” against domestic violence.

Safe Ireland is teaming up with the US-based National Network to End Domestic Violence “to make the United States and Ireland the safest places for women and children in the world”, Ms Rosenthal said.

Broadcaster Ryan Tubridy also spoke at the event. He referred to the almost 3,500 requests for emergency accommodation that were refused last year because the refuge was full as “biblical”, adding it was like being told there was “no room at the inn”. “We need to keep the lights on metaphorically and physically,” he said. “Our relationship in this country with children and women has not been good,” he said.

The broadcaster and father of two said that being a Dad had made him much more troubled about domestic violence.  He said that he grew up listening to women speaking about the issue on the radio, but that he had thought “people just don’t do that any more”.

“I know what I have become,  is much more evangelical about getting the word out there that we need to be aware. If you see a black eye, or a flinching person, or someone who is out of character, you need to listen up, speak up and man up.”

Ringing Endorsement

An Taoiseach wears his MAN UP cycling jacket, presented to him by SAFE Ireland, as he takes on the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle.