Have you noticed there’s a day for everything these days? Last week was World Toilet Day and Citizen Day on the 19th November. Universal Children’s Day and Transgender Day was celebrated on the 20th and did anyone watch television on the 21st of November? It was apparently World Television Day.
But today’s awareness day is one that many of us swear to support. In Australia it’s known as White Ribbon Day, but officially around the world it is known as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Domestic Violence against women is a very real issue in Australia (and around the world) that simply needs to stop.
Being a tradie, I have spent a lot of time with men on the construction site. Of course I have experienced discrimination and harassment for being the only woman on a worksite or at TAFE. Becoming a female plumber wasn’t easy and I know my story resonates with many female tradies around the world. Sadly I’ve come to the realization that if it’s easy for men to have a go at a woman on a construction site in front of their mates, how much easier is it for them to be violent to their female partners at home? Sound farfetched? It isn’t.
It was found that tradesmen account for half the men accused of domestic violence on the Gold Coast, which sadly has a high number of domestic violence cases each year.
Currently, 1 woman dies each week as a result of domestic violence. In May this year, 34 women had been killed by domestic violence. That is more than 1 victim a week.
I can’t imagine how scared women feel when they are at home with a violent partner. I can’t imagine what her children think when they hear or watch their mum get beaten.
The AFP put this video together of what the police face when they rock up to a house that is affected by domestic violence. The video pulls at the heart and gives a rare insight of what it’s like to live with an abuser.
Australia says no to many things, and I’m proud they say no against domestic violence against women.
Gender equality is the way forward to ensuring violence against women, stops.
We need strong men who stand alongside women to say No, it’s not right that women get abused by their partners.
So what can we do to be part of the solution to the problem?
Firstly we can start a conversation. A conversation with our sons that violence against the opposite sex is wrong. Teach them about gender equality. That girls are vital to our community.
We need to teach our daughters that they are valuable and to know that any kind of violent treatment towards them should not be tolerated.
To the men who are acting this violence towards the women in the lives, stop and think who you’re hurting. Get help. Talk to someone about why you feel the way you do and why it leads you to harm those that you love most.
And for the women who are living this nightmare every day…speak up. Find someone you can talk to to get help. Don’t live this nightmare alone. Your life and those of your children depend on you speaking out.
The White Ribbon Website offers valuable information on what to do if you come across a domestic violence situation.
If you need counselling, call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732), National Sexual Assault, Family and Domestic Violence Counselling Line for any Australia who has experienced, or is at risk of, family and domestic violence and/or sexual assault.
Lifeline also offers a crisis service in your state 131 114.
For emergencies call the Police or Ambulance on 000.