Friday, 25 July 2014

Swearing...for good. #whiteribbonnight #domesticviolencenomore

We have all met one of these special ladies in our lives before. They adorn a bubbly, outgoing, peaceful persona with a certain ease or grace about them. They help others unconditionally; they are the women everyone in a room labels as strong; and you would be right. But behind the peaceful, friendly, helpful outlook these women, young girls, adults, middle aged women, grandmothers, are women who have suffered and dealt with the effects of domestic violence at the hands of men.

Despite all of their efforts there is one thing these women will all share in common, at one point in time they were deathly afraid, disgusted, physically sick and mentally taunted by men. The beauty, if anything can come from it, is that these women, the surviving victims of domestic violence, are reminders of the utter strength, determination and bravery of women.

Each week, each year we hear of another case of a man assaulting his wife or de facto, a family member getting his way with a young relative or a random person on the street deciding a woman is no more than a piece of meat he can have his way with. This has to stop. NOW. The only way that happens is if society, beginning with men, demand better attitudes and respect for women from their fellow man. This means bringing back the days when men would respectfully and singularly approach a bloke if he was misbehaving in a bar or speaking inappropriately to a woman. This means no more standing by and waiting to see if 'she'll be right.' It also means verbalising your commitment and reinforcing everyday that you swear to develop and uphold a society that values the lives of your women. It's about exclaiming that 9 years of jail for committing rape is a blasphemous joke when you're talking about the entire life of one of God's children being destroyed at the hands of a monster. It is never exalting people, including the famous, if they have been convicted of heinous crimes against women.

This evening, July 25 is White Ribbon Night. Tonight I want to say well done to any woman who has ever suffered and survived at the hands of domestic violence. You are the definition of a fighter. I also want to say, I am sorry to anyone reading this who has lost relatives or loved ones to this insidious crime and I am sorry for those who have experienced unspeakable pain in order to learn their inner strength. Whilst I would love to keep my focus only on this (all the time) sadly we still must emphasise how much culture in Australia, and the world, needs to change. If you detest domestic violence and value the lives of women please go to White Ribbon Australia now and pledge your support for a society free of domestic violence.


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