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Blog | 23 February 2023

Lewes FC's #Callhimout & #Callhimin Campaign

Lewes FC's Willa Bailey shares her thoughts on the importance of male allyship and kicking misogyny out of football.

Two weeks ago, during Sexual Violence Awareness Week, Lewes Football Club re-launched our #CallHimOut campaign with the Survivors’ Network.

Working with the Survivors Network on this launch was such a blessing, and it felt so natural to work with a member of our sistership network. The Lewes FC sisterships are a collective of organisations and charities who all empower women and girls in some way. Supporting each sistership in their goals and running activations together means so much to us as it helps us achieve our off-the-pitch mission: using football as a force for good.

Whilst we intentionally chose that vital campaigning week to launch ‘Call Him Out’ we were not prepared for the surge of domestic and sexual violence news stories that broke in the days prior to launching. The day before our launch, on the 7th February, seven out of ten ‘most read’ articles on the BBC News website detailed separate reports of women dying or being assaulted at the hands of a man. Whilst these headlines shocked many, the incidents they were describing are not isolated. For many women and other survivors, domestic violence is a daily, lived occurrence. Yet, their experiences continue to be undermined, trivialised and often ignored.

It is not up for debate that we have a male violence problem in our society. From the allegations of sexual assault against Premier League footballers with little consequence, to the endemic sexism and abuse visible throughout the Met Police ranks and the popularity of Andrew Tate’s radical misogynistic messaging.

Campaigns like #CallHimOut are vital to help us consider the ways in which everyday sexism and societal misogyny contribute to gendered violence. I am so proud of the Lewes FC men’s 1st team and senior management for their involvement in and motivation for this campaign. Football is an insanely popular game and has huge leverage across the world to both communicate with, and engage communities. At Lewes, we believe this is what makes it such a powerful vehicle for change; we can speak to people through their beloved game, and encourage difficult conversations and challenge mindsets. Interested in finding out more? Join us here.

Willa Bailey

Director | Lewes Football Club