Today is White Ribbon Day – the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Here in Australia, the aim is to try and get men and boys to take action to eliminate abuse of women with an offshoot at http://www.myoath.com.au/. It’s a great step which involves a lot of high profile men including our PM and an iconic rugby league player among others. Targetting men and boys in this positive manner is great because research shows that violence tends to occur when men think it is acceptable or that they are entitled to dominate their family or that this is the only way to solve problems.
It is definitely more important to catch them young and to educate them. Violence is unacceptable. Towards your partner or your child. I remember attending a forum a month ago as part of work where one of the speakers stated that something like 6 out of 10 young men under the age of 16 think it is okay to be abusive towards women if they don’t behave in an ‘acceptable’ manner or if they change their minds about having sex at the last minute. That statistic really scared me.
Where do these young boys get such ideas? (Rugby league perhaps???)
And that’s why a day such as today is so important.
It’s important to educate these young boys that violence of any form is not acceptable.
That women have a right to say no.
That they can stand up to their mates who are abusive towards their partners.
Even if we can start with a few, hopefully in the coming years, we will see a lot more change. And hopefully, the young boys in the future will have better role models in their fathers and other high profile males.
So wear a white ribbon today and show your support.
Until next time,