Have you seen a red flag? Cosmo’s Red Flag Ini­tia­tive

He blames you for ev­ery­thing. He tells you how to dress. He ac­cuses you of flirt­ing. He nags you to have sex with him when you don’t want to. He calls your fam­ily members names. THIS I S NOT LOVE.

Cosmopolitan (Australia) - - Contents -

One in four Aus­tralian women have ex­pe­ri­enced emo­tional abuse. One in three have ex­pe­ri­enced phys­i­cal and/or sex­ual vi­o­lence. And one woman is killed every week by a cur­rent or for­mer part­ner. That’s too many women. Cosmo has banded to­gether with in­flu­encers, celebri­ties and sur­vivors of gen­der- based vi­o­lence to shine a light on the red flags that all too of­ten pre­cede phys­i­cal vi­o­lence. To­gether we can put an end to vi­o­lence against women once and for all, re­ports Shari Nementzik

‘ When the words “do­mes­tic vi­o­lence” came up, it sad­dened me but never did it strike a chord with me per­son­ally. A year ago I looked deeper into the mean­ing and learnt that abuse has sev­eral cat­e­gories: emo­tional, men­tal and phys­i­cal. All of a sud­den it did strike a chord – a re­ally deep one. Ladies, please know the red flags; it could save a life.’

– TE­GAN MAR­TIN, MODEL

Think about this for a minute; think about you and your three clos­est friends. Ac­cord­ing to the most re­cent ABS Per­sonal Safety Sur­vey, one of you ei­ther has or will ex­pe­ri­ence phys­i­cal or sex­ual vi­o­lence. Does that en­rage you? It should.

Every sin­gle day we read a new fact about vi­o­lence against women and it breaks our hearts. Did you know that women are at least three times more likely than men to ex­pe­ri­ence vi­o­lence from a part­ner? Scar­ily, young women ex­pe­ri­ence sig­nif­i­cantly higher rates of phys­i­cal and sex­ual vi­o­lence than any other group of women. In fact, eight out of 10 women aged 18­24 were ha­rassed on the street in the past year. We can’t deny the sever­ity of vi­o­lence against women. That’s why Cosmo is cam­paign­ing to put an end to it once and for all.

Vi­o­lence against women in­cludes do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, fam­ily vi­o­lence, sex­ual ha­rass­ment and sex­ual as­sault. And it does not dis­crim­i­nate. Just read the sto­ries of the in­cred­i­ble sur­vivors we in­ter­viewed – they all come from dif­fer­ent walks of life, but share an aw­ful bond. Khadija Gbla was beaten by her hus­band, Ally San­ford was drugged and raped after a night out with friends, Lilly Per­rott was punched in the face for call­ing out a man who groped her at a fes­ti­val, and Nina Fun­nell was bru­tally at­tacked by a stranger while walk­ing home. It can hap­pen to any one of us, our friends, our fam­ily, at any time, and the per­pe­tra­tor can be any­one from your high­school boyfriend to your busi­ness­man f iancé, to a com­plete stranger.

Imag­ine a world where girls and women live free from vi­o­lence. It shouldn’t be some­thing we only dream about; safety is a ba­sic hu­man right. By rais­ing aware­ness, mak­ing our voices heard and let­ting vic­tims know that there is help, that they’re not alone and that it is never their fault, we can make a real dif­fer­ence. It starts with high­light­ing the red f lags to look out for. Be­cause if you no­tice one with your­self, a fam­ily mem­ber or a friend, it’s time to take ac­tion. Don’t ig­nore the red f lags.

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