Michael Sheen called on men to speak out against violence against women and girls.
The Port Talbot actor, 52, said domestic violence was “a men’s problem” and made it clear that it was not a war of the sexes.
He delivered the message as part of the Stand Up To Domestic Abuse online event.
Read more : Tribute to the man killed in the Port Talbot crash
Michael said: “Violence against women and girls is a men’s problem.
“We need a growing movement of men to stand up and speak out against men’s violence against women and girls.
“It calls us to delve into parts of male culture that have been historically apathetic about it or openly hostile to women’s efforts to engage them. We must do more.
“Movements like today are created and built by women, should we applaud this or be frustrated that men weren’t a part of it. Are we ready to ask women to step back and let us run this or come together to end it?
“Gender violence, what is it?
“Sexual assault, domestic violence, relationship abuse, sexual harassment, child sexual abuse – these issues have always been viewed as women’s issues that maybe good, courageous men help get involved in. These are not women’s issues, they are mainly men’s issues, we have to make it our own. “
Figures from the England and Wales Crime Survey reveal that 74% of domestic homicide victims were female for the year ending March 2016 through the year ending March 2018. The statistics on non-domestic homicides paint a different picture with 87% of male victims.
The overwhelming majority of female victims of domestic homicides are killed by men. Of the 270 female victims of spousal homicide for the year ending March 2016, up to the year ending March 2018, the suspect was male in 260 cases.
In 218 of 270 domestic homicide cases between those same years, the suspect was a partner or ex-partner. Forty-three male victims were killed by a partner or ex-partner during the same period.
You can now receive all important information straight to your inbox by signing up to our free WalesOnline newsletter.
Signing up only takes a few seconds – just click here, enter your email address and follow the instructions.
In a study of 96 cases of domestic violence, it appeared that men were significantly more likely to be repeat perpetrators and significantly more likely than women to use physical violence, threats and harassment.
During a six-year follow-up period, the majority of registered male abusers – 83% – had at least two recorded incidents of abuse, with many more than two. In one case, a man had 52 repeated incidents.
The majority of women, a total of 62%, had recorded only one incident of violence and the highest number of repeat incidents for a female abuser was eight.
It was also found in the study that men’s violence tended to create a context of fear and control, which was not the case when women were the perpetrators.
In total, 83% of high frequency victims who were victims of more than 10 crimes were women.
In the year ending March 2019, 92% of defendants in domestic violence prosecutions were men. The majority of victims were women, 75%, while 16% of victims were men and in 10% of cases the sex of the victim was not recorded.
Michael said: “These are our daughters, our mothers, our sisters, our colleagues, our neighbors, our communities, they are our friends. These are people, not numbers, the way we use our language to talk about domestic violence literally saves lives or not. Let’s look at how we think and use language, this is how we distract from men.
He added, “This is a deeply rooted systemic social problem, society allows and creates abusers. Abusers are not deviants or sick people who only come out of a swamp at night and return once the act, violence or rape has been committed. Abusers are much more normal than that, they are our sons, our fathers, our brothers, our colleagues, neighbors, communities – they are our companions.
“The women who have been talking about it for years have been called disparaging men, haters of men, so society and men have shown that it is easier to shut the messenger off. Men have to see what women have seen for years. Men have to speak out, they have to stand alongside women and not against them – this is not a war of the sexes.
“We have to stand up and challenge the violent men.
“For women, your silence is consent to those who abuse – speaking out, standing up will end domestic violence.”
Get stories like this straight to your inbox with our newsletters.