First Man Standing is Restored's campaign that asks men to respect all women, challenge other men and pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.
At the end of June the Restored team of Baggy, Natalie and Peter attended the Gathering, Christian Vision for Men’s annual conference. This was where First Man Standing was launched in 2011. Once again it was a fantastic weekend of fun, worship, great conversations and lots of mud.
We had an opportunity on the main stage to talk about the progress in First Man Standing from last year. Over 350 men have signed up to FMS and it was encouraging to hear stories of change throughout the weekend, including a perpetrator of violence who had sought help after hearing Natalie’s story at last year’s conference, and whose marriage had been saved. We also met a doctor who came to the Restored stand to say how FMS had increased his awareness of domestic violence issues in his practice. As a result of this he had helped a woman from Sri Lanka to escape an abusive relationship and be reunited with her family.
We also led a seminar where we provided resources for over 100 men to be able to lead their own First Man Standing sessions at men’s breakfasts and other events. Do contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a copy of these materials.
Added to that we were able to tell of the everyday heroics of men who over the past year had stood up against violence against women and challenged the behaviour of both friends and strangers. These included two men who challenged a man abusing a woman on the London underground, another who witnessed an incident of violence through an office window and attracted attention so that the attacker was deterred, and another who had challenged the threatening language of a colleague at work.
You can sign up to First Man Standing by clicking on the photo on the Restored home page. Let’s keep going for it – respecting women, challenging men and spreading the message that abuse of women is unacceptable.