Calling out disrespectful or violent behaviour

Being an ally includes responding to disrespectful and violent behaviour you might see or hear. There are ways we can respond to support women depending on the context and our level of confidence.

95% of all violent acts in Australia, either against men or women, are committed by men. This sobering statistic reminds us that we all have a long way to go in holding some men accountable for their violence (Change the Story, Our Watch 2015).

Many men have been asked about how comfortable they feel in calling out other men’s disrespectful and violent behaviour to women. The findings are that men find it hard.

  • They often don’t know what to say or what to do.
  • They feel pressure to uphold the “bro code”.
  • They also don’t want to experience violence or disrespect themselves.

Reference: Masculinity and Bystander Attitudes: Moderating Effects of Masculine Gender Role Stress

We are asking men this 16 days to step up to allyship instead of upholding the bro code, and call out sexist, disrespectful or harassing behaviour if it’s safe to do so. Here are different ways you can do that.

Things I can do today to be an ally


Read these 16 tips on how to #callitout when we hear or see disrespectful or sexist behaviour. Which approach do you find you are most comfortable or likely to use?


Are women and men treated differently in your workplace? Take notice and ask colleagues of all genders this question. What is their experience is like?


Fill in this sentence and share on social media: To me, respect is

Interested to know more?

Understanding gender equality

You might have noticed that some of the sites we shared have connected ending violence against women with promoting “gender equality”.

Gender equality is about valuing and respecting all people’s rights, responsibilities and opportunities, whatever their gender identity or expression. Our focus on women acknowledges that women and girls experience violence from men at a much higher rate.

Watch this video to learn more about gender equality:

Read more about why focus on men’s violence against women.