‘Be the good guy’ ini­tia­tive

Two N.L. men cre­ate a move­ment to stop vi­o­lence against women in prov­ince

The Western Star - - FRONT PAGE - BY BETH PEN­NEY

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. f ace­book. com/ To­geth­erNL- Men- STOP- Harass­men­tand- Vi­o­lence- To­ward- NLWomen-139594133348208/

Ge­off Chaulk and Danny Tuff have started a Face­book group to help end vi­o­lence against women in New­found­land and Labrador.

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