White 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.”