Together We Can: Engaging Men In Ending Violence

By Crayton Webb|

I remember distinctly the moment I finally got it. That I understood. The moment I realized that violence against women was more than just an issue my company, Mary Kay, had taken on as a priority cause twenty-five years ago. That it was my issue.  My problem. That it was a man’s issue. All of a sudden, for me it was finally personal.

I was fortunate not to have grown up in a home with domestic violence.  Had never been in a relationship where violence was prevalent. I was, and am, blessed to be in a loving marriage with three healthy, happy, (and often rambunctious and loud), little boys.

The story I read in the newspaper that particular morning suddenly made it all seem very real. The story was about a young man from a prominent and wealthy family who didn’t take “no” for an answer from his girlfriend one night in the back seat of his car. He was being charged with rape. My judgment was swift – how could he not know better? How could his parents not have taught him what “no” means? And then — oh God, I thought, what if my boys ever did something like that?

There is no such thing here as an innocent bystander.  Because the bystander isn’t innocent if we do nothing – say nothing – don’t insist on change and then act on it.

All of these horrific scenes flashed through my head of one of my now sweet little boys, grown up and hurting another person – hurting a woman. And suddenly, it was all clear to me. It hit home. This is our problem! This is our issue!  This is my issue! There is no violence against women — no domestic violence, no dating abuse — without the abuser.  And that, in great part, historically and statistically, is us! Men. How truly horrific that the only role we men are perceived to have played in this issue, is being the problem!

Men must have another role. We have a larger part to play in the fight to end domestic violence. What I’ve come to fully understand since I read that article, is that it’s just not enough for us men to be good guys. It’s not enough for us to not abuse our spouse, girlfriend or loved one. It’s just not enough to read articles every day about women who are hurt by men who say they love them and for us to be content closing the story with the fleeting thought, “What a shame – glad that’s not me.”

There is no such thing here as an innocent bystander.  Because the bystander isn’t innocent if we do nothing – say nothing – don’t insist on change and then act on it.

If we really want to end domestic violence – we have to stop it before it starts.  We have to change our culture.  Men have to own violence against women as a man’s issue – a man’s problem.  For men to be part of the solution we have to challenge the way we think, the way we behave and talk, the way we raise our children – both our sons and daughters.  We have a responsibility to reach the next generation of men – boys my sons’ age – and challenge the way we look at women and look at ourselves.

As NO MORE Week comes to an end, let’s pledge to continue the conversation – every day. Continue talking to our sons – and other men — about what it means to be a gentleman; talking to our children about what they should expect and not accept in a relationship; and talking to each other about what healthy relationships can and should look like.

For me, that last part is now more important than ever.  Because a new chapter is opening for our family.  My wife and I are expecting our fourth child – a baby girl – to be born any day now.  I pray all of my kids someday find themselves in a safe, healthy, loving relationship and in a culture where abuse and violence are NO MORE!

CraytonWebb_marykay_corporate_social_responsiblity_domesticviolenceCrayton Webb is Vice President of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility at Mary Kay Inc. Crayton oversees the company’s global media and public relations team and is also responsible for Mary Kay’s global CSR and philanthropic efforts. Crayton is chairman of the men’s auxiliary for Genesis Women’s Shelter in Dallas, HeROs (He Respects Others), and was recently appointed to the board of the Texas Council on Family Violence in Austin, Texas.  Follow Crayton on Twitter @craytonwebb.

To learn more about Mary Kay’s commitment to ending domestic violence visit


Get News Updates and Alerts From NO MORE