British Columbia

Vancouver conference to address male accountability in #MeToo movement

The #HowIWillChange conference is aimed at how men can change their attitudes and behaviours when it comes to sexual violence.

#HowIWillChange invites men to play a role in combating sexual violence

People carry signs addressing the issue of sexual harassment at a #MeToo rally outside of Trump International Hotel on December 9, 2017 in New York City. (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

A conference in Vancouver is examining how men can hold themselves accountable to behaviour raised in the #MeToo social movement against sexual violence and harassment.

The conference, #HowIWillChange: A conference for men to deal with our sh#t, will take place March 3 at  the Ray-Cam Co-operative Centre with a focus on how men can acknowledge and change problematic behaviour toward women and others.

The keynote speaker is Chris Huffine, an Oregon-based psychologist and executive director of Allies in Change — a social activist organization working with perpetrators and victims of domestic violence.

Huffine has been working with men on these issues for years and credits the #MeToo social movement for bringing male accountability into the spotlight.

"It's really easy for people with more power, men for example, to not have to think about these things because rarely are they the targets," Huffine said.

'It's really about changing their behaviours'

Huffine says the challenge is getting men to engage in the issue.

"I think what's been striking is that the movement to address the violence that's being done is typically being lead and run primarily by women even though the issue is primarily men's violence," said Huffine.

He points out that many men need to acknowledge their past and present behaviours. 

"It's not just about making a promise not to do it anymore. It's really about changing their behaviours, the way they give themselves permission to do these things and changing their beliefs," Huffine said.

With files from The Early Edition