Re­spect Me Too the call

Uni­fy­ing to end sex­ual vi­o­lence

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Ge­or­gia Simp­son Ge­or­gia.Simp­son@ whit­sun­day­times.com.au

THE chances of you know­ing some­one who has been af­fected by sex­ual vi­o­lence is un­for­tu­nately quite likely.

Ac­cord­ing to the Aus­tralian In­sti­tute of Health and Wel­fare, one in four women and one in 20 men have been af­fected by sex­ual vi­o­lence.

Whit­sun­day Coun­selling and Sup­port is col­lab­o­rat­ing with lo­cal busi­nesses and com­mu­nity ser­vices dur­ing this month, help­ing to un­veil the un­com­fort­able truth that sex­ual vi­o­lence is still preva­lent.

As a com­mu­nity we are sup­port­ing sur­vivors and let­ting per­pe­tra­tors know that it is not okay.

Re­spect Me Too is the cam­paign mes­sage, fol­low­ing on from the wide­spread “Me Too” move­ment, which went vi­ral last year as a hash­tag on so­cial me­dia in an at­tempt to demon­strate the wide­spread preva­lence of sex­ual vi­o­lence.

Sex­ual vi­o­lence can have dev­as­tat­ing and long last­ing psy­cho­log­i­cal, emo­tional, and phys­i­cal ef­fects on a sur­vivor, of­ten im­pact­ing them for the rest of their lives. Whit­sun­day Coun­selling and Sup­port, spe­cial­ist coun­sel­lor Mandy Coles be­lieves the power of col­lab­o­ra­tion in the com­mu­nity plays an im­por­tant role in erad­i­cat­ing sex­ual vi­o­lence. “Tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity is less daunt­ing when peo­ple feel they have the knowl­edge about what to do, as well as whole com­mu­nity and peer sup­port,” she said.

Chris Nau­mann, Ho­tel Metropole Proser­pine man­ager, is proud to be get­ting be­hind the cam­paign.

The venue has zero tol­er­ance to­wards sex­ual vi­o­lence, and will be dis­tribut­ing coast­ers with the mes­sage, “No means No, STOP sex­ual vi­o­lence,” through­out the venue.

Mr Nau­mann was clear on his stance on the is­sue say­ing, “It’s some­thing that is still hap­pen­ing and we as the pub­lic need to start se­ri­ously ad­dress­ing it and it needs to stop.”

PHOTO: GE­OR­GIA SIMP­SON

SHOW­ING SUP­PORT: Chris Nau­mann, man­ager at Ho­tel Metropole Proser­pine, is wear­ing his teal rib­bon through­out Oc­to­ber.

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