Rib­bons spread­ing mes­sage to our men

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

VIOLENCE against women is never ac­cept­able and it is ev­ery­one’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to make sure this mes­sage is heard loud and clear.

Men in par­tic­u­lar have a key role to play and yes­ter­day’s White Rib­bon Day was about recog­nis­ing the pos­i­tive role men can have in pre­vent­ing violence against women.

The Whit­sun­day Cri­sis and Coun­selling Ser­vice uses White Rib­bon Day as a way to com­mu­ni­cate the mes­sage lo­cally, and wel­comed men from all walks of life to their of­fice this week in a show of strength and unity.

Hold­ing their White Rib­bon Day plac­ards, the men re­peated the oath that typ­i­fies the at­ti­tude all men should have when it comes to violence against women: “I will stand up, speak out and act to pre­vent men’s violence against women”. Whit­sun­day Cri­sis and Coun­selling Ser­vice’s CEO Steve Alexan­der said White Rib­bon Day was about rais­ing aware­ness of the is­sue in the lo­cal com­mu­nity and en­list­ing the sup­port of men, no mat­ter what their age, back­ground or pro­fes­sion. “It’s about men speak­ing out about violence against women,” he said.

“It’s im­por­tant to note that the ma­jor­ity of men are not per­pe­tra­tors, but the ma­jor­ity of per­pe­tra­tors are men. So men have a very im­por­tant role to play in stand­ing up and speak­ing out about the is­sue.

“We need to raise aware­ness of the prob­lem and get the mes­sage out there that it’s not okay to com­mit violence against women and we have seen that the pin­na­cle of this can of­ten lead to death, which of course is to­tally un­ac­cept­able. All violence against women is un­ac­cept­able and can en­com­pass ver­bal, emo­tional, psy­cho­log­i­cal and sex­ual violence, as well as phys­i­cal violence.”

Mr Alexan­der said part of the prob­lem was that violence against women was a learned be­hav­iour and it was here that other men could have a posi- tive ef­fect by set­ting a good ex­am­ple and talk­ing about it.

“Un­for­tu­nately, some chil­dren grow up in vi­o­lent house­holds and this is what they learn to repli­cate as adults but by stand­ing up and speak­ing out, other men can show per­pe­tra­tors it is never okay,” he said.

WCCS will have White Rib­bon Day posters on dis­play in their re­cep­tion area all this week and there is also a White Rib­bon Day dis­play in the Can­non­vale Li­brary this week to raise aware­ness.

STOP THE VIOLENCE: The Whit­sun­day Cri­sis and Coun­selling Ser­vice has posters on dis­play urg­ing men to speak out.

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