Men take a stand against domestic violence in new campaign

9 November 2020

Bondi Rescue’s Bruce 'Hoppo' Hopkins and several other well-known Sydney men have this week lent their voices to new video campaign, 'We’re Better Than That', aiming to target domestic violence.

The videos, funded by the Central and Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network and created in partnership with Randwick, Waverley, Woollahra and Bayside Councils, promote respect and healthy relationships, and encourage men to be active bystanders when they witness behaviour that condones and contributes to violence in our communities.

"It’s up to all of us to look out for disrespectful behaviour towards women,” Hoppo says, against the backdrop of Sydney’s Bondi Beach. Most beaches have lifeguards and lifesavers on patrol. Now it’s your turn to be a lifesaver and help prevent domestic violence.”

The release of 'We’re Better Than That' comes at a time when rates of domestic violence have been increasing worldwide. In Sydney’s eastern suburbs, some local domestic violence services have seen referrals more than double in 2020.

Co-chair of the Eastern Suburbs Domestic Violence Network, Vicki Johnston, believes men play a vital role in shifting the culture that leads to gender-based violence.

“Boys are conditioned to think that men are in charge, men have to be strong and not show emotion, men are the heads of the household and have the final say. Men have a significant role to play in providing a more balanced and healthy model of what it means to be a man and have healthy and respectful relationships.”

Cricket legend Mike Whitney, chef Colin Fassnidge, actor Luke Carroll and community leader Rishi Acharya also feature in the series.

“I think it’s important for people like me who’ve got a voice to talk about these issues,” Mike Whitney explains, “and say to men that there’s a lot of other ways that you can deal with your relationship instead of being violent.”

The videos will be available to view on the Hope Believe Shine Foundation website and the 'We're Better Than That' Facebook page The Hope Believe Shine Foundation is a fundraising body supporting women and children affected by domestic violence.

If you or someone you know is affected by domestic violence, help is available. You can call the NSW Domestic Violence Line on 1800 65 64 63 or the Men’s Referral service on 1300 766 491.