‘Treating others with respect is the greatest show of strength’

David Tennant calls for urgent action against toxic masculinity.

In his first speech for Tender, Dr. Who star David Tennant called for urgent action to address the misogynistic attitudes and behaviours in UK schools.

Drawing on testimony from students, teachers and Tender experts, Tennant called on leaders present and future to commit to high quality, relationships education.

Speaking at the annual Tender Awards in London, Tennant said:

‘Negative attitudes are the first step towards violence. Our boys and young men need diverse role models who demonstrate the many ways to be man, and how treating others with respect is the greatest show of strength.

‘We must support boys and young men to understand healthy – and harmful – behaviour. Tender has proven time and again the incredible impact of high quality relationships education – every child deserves access to this support.’

Tennant was joined by Tender CEO Susie McDonald, who said:

‘It’s time we saw a real commitment to the prevention of domestic violence and sexual abuse.

‘High quality relationships education is paramount. We must face reality: difficult topics like sexual violence and pornography are part of young people’s lives, and they need support to challenge harmful attitudes and treat each other with respect.

‘Tender calls on the next government to ensure every child and young person receives quality, inclusive relationships education. Any plan to prevent violence and abuse depends on it.’  

The Tender Awards recognises the amazing work of students, teachers and campaigners in their support of Tender’s mission to prevent domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Also in attendance, Tender Ambassador and fellow Dr. Who actor, Jodie Whittaker added:

‘Healthy relationships are so important for our future. Innovative relationships education like Tender’s inspires young people to explore attitudes and behaviours in a safe space. They’re given the time and support to rehearse relationships, build their understanding and practice healthy interactions.

‘A world where every child receives this education will be a much more positive world.’

Noted to editors

Tender CEO Susie McDonald is available for interview. Please direct media enquiries and interview requests to katevine@tender.org.uk (Mon-Wed) or cordelia@tender.org.uk (Thurs-Fri).

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