Be More Than
Originally created by the Ending Violence Association of BC in partnership with the BC Lions, Be More Than A Bystander is a campaign that engages male leaders with community youth, to address gender-based violence by engaging in prevention strategies. In 2016, Interval House of Hamilton purchased the rights to Be More Than A Bystander and brought the program to The City of Hamilton through MentorAction.
We’ve partnered with the Hamilton Bulldogs, McMaster University Athletics, McMaster University Security Services, The Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and FORGE FC to help us make a huge impact by spreading the message to our local communities. Through public service announcements, billboards, school programs, and sports programs we are re-educating our community and increasing awareness of everyone’s responsibility to end gender-based violence.
Why sports team representatives? Engaging organized sports teams to mentor youth provides a platform to challenge patriarchy and create a venue for transformational conversations between athletes and youth that challenge harmful and rigid gender roles and expectations. It is important to recognize sports as a cultural influencer to end gender-based violence by providing practical tools and discussing healthy masculinity with youth. Engaging boys at an early age and building healthy masculinity messaging into athletics aligns with gender-based violence prevention strategies within community-wide initiatives.
In late 2018, the month of February was designated by the City of Hamilton as Be More Than A Bystander month. Around the city you will see our billboards, social media posts and media coverage, as well as the Hamilton Sign at City Hall lit purple and grey in honour of this month and to raise awareness for this important campaign!
Integration of the Be More Than A Bystander program into the City of Hamilton:
- Players from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats involved with Be More Than A Bystander receive annual training.
- Both Catholic and Public school systems participate in the Be More Than A Bystander program.
- Be More Than A Bystander is integrated into the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Highschool Mentorship program.
- The Hamilton Bulldogs connect with local youth hockey teams and provide players with tools to help end gender-based violence.
- McMaster University Special Constables receive a full-day training on gender-based violence.
- McMaster University Department of Athletics is committed to providing Be More Than A Bystander training to all first-year athletes.