Over the past month social media has been flooded with the #MeToo campaign. Every day it seems there is another man being accused of sexual harassment or sexual assault.
Geoff Chaulk and Danny Tuff are two men who say they have seen this ongoing pattern locally, and are ready to do something about it.
“I think it’s time to shift the focus,” said Chaulk. “We need to get men talking to men.”
Chaulk says harassment and abuse toward women is reaching an all-time high, in terms of the number of victims.
“Even in a small province like ours it seems like this violence has become such a regular thing,” he said. “Another woman’s body was found this weekend. Something has to be done.”
Chaulk says his inspiration comes from his two nieces, Sophie and Grace.
“Sophie went off to college this year, and I was a nervous wreck,” he said. “We’ve all heard the horror stories about college parties. I just want them to be safe.”
Chaulk says he has contacted members of government, asking for various levels of support for the initiative.
Although he has gotten some response, he says he is disappointed.
“To be frank, I’m annoyed with some members of government that I have contacted,” said Chaulk. “I’m not looking for money, I’m looking for resources.”
Chaulk and Tuff hope to form a committee to engage others all over the province.
Chaulk is calling on Memorial University to gather existing students/faculty who have an expertise in areas related to violence against women, and form a literary review along with community-based approaches to ending these behaviours.
The Facebook group is just the beginning, says Chaulk.
“We’re getting more and more people joining every day,” he said. “I’ve had about nine men add me on Facebook now, interested in the movement.”
They are promoting the hash tag #BeTheGoodGuy, hoping to get more traction to the page.
“This movement needs to be a priority in the health, justice and education system,” said Chaulk.
More information is available online at https://www.facebook.com/Together-NL-Men-STOP-Harassment-and-Violence-Toward-NL-Women-139594133348208/