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Domestic violence – a matter of ‘Respect’

3 June 2016 Wesley Mission news

The Department of Social Services has released a new campaign advertisement to addressing the roots of Domestic Violence and disrespect towards women. Titled simply, “Respect”, the powerful commercial is well timed to get people talking in Domestic Violence Prevention Month.

Wesley Mission News spoke to David Allen, Executive Manager, Wesley Community and Family Care about the underlying attitudes towards domestic violence that are addressed in this campaign;

“The campaign highlights how from early on, women and girls are subjected to violence and disrespect so much so that it has become a societal norm. Put downs such as calling boys “a girl” when they show emotion demonstrates that being female is something to be ashamed of. This attitude seeps into the very being of both men and women and from those insults, the next steps in violence against women are smaller to take.”

What does a campaign like this mean to you as you support women who find themselves homeless as a result of Domestic Violence?

“Violence against women comes in many forms and is often justified or excused. Working with women who have experienced violence, and working with children who have witnessed this violence, has shown that years of degradation and abuse has significant impact on self-esteem and mental health to both the victims of the violence and the children that witness it. There is no simple solution. It is essential that both men and women, that we all, form part of the answer. Raising our boys to be respectful and inclusive is a start.”

As the campaign highlights, violence against women doesn’t just start, it grows. If you think violence against women is a big problem, tackle it when it’s a little one.

For more information about the Respect campaign, please visit respect.gov.au