James Purefoy stars in our Father's Day football film | ActionAid UK

James Purefoy

Actor and ActionAid Ambassador

This Father's Day, actor, dad of four and Yeovil Town FC fan James Purefoy is starring in a film to raise awareness of our work to end violence against women and girls. He explains why he believes that men must be involved as part of the solution, and his hopes for his daughter, Rose.

“As a dad, I want my daughter to grow up and be treated in exactly the same way as her brothers. I don’t want her to face any barriers in her life just because she’s a girl. 

Whether you’re a dad or not, I think that this is a message all men can and should get behind. Men and boys have to be part of the solution in the fight against sexism and inequality. And to end violence against women and girls, which is one of the biggest human rights abuses in the world, men and boys must be involved in changing attitudes and behaviour in their families and communities. 

Men and boys have to be part of the solution in the fight against sexism and inequality.

I was shocked to learn that one in three women worldwide will experience physical or sexual abuse in their lifetime, most likely by someone they know. On a visit to South Africa with ActionAid I met a group of young women who had survived violence. They told me that when they reported domestic violence or abuse to police officers (who were predominantly male), their cases were not taken seriously.

ActionAid is helping these women get the emotional, legal and healthcare support they need. As well as supporting survivors, I think it’s amazing that they are also getting more female police officers into police stations and training health centre staff to ensure women and girls feel comfortable reporting what’s happened.

I’ve seen for myself the difference ActionAid is making. But they can’t do it alone. Fifty per cent of the population are men, and we need to take responsibility for helping to end violence, especially for our daughters and the world that they are going to grow up in.

So this Father’s Day my message for my darling daughter, Rose, is that I want you to grow up in a world that is equal, respectful and safe. I don’t want you to be treated any differently just because you’re a girl. It’s as simple as that.”

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