I could ask if you know a woman who is affected by domestic violence but instead let me say that whether you know it or not, you do know someone.
According to information from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, one in three women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by someone known to them. That means that it is extremely likely that there are women in your family, among your friends, and in your workplace who have experienced domestic violence. How can this be happening in Australia?
25 November is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women also known as White Ribbon Day.
This year, we’re acknowledging the fact that men’s violence against women is everyone’s issue. Get involved and spread the word today.
In the very place where women should be able to feel safe, their own homes, many are at the highest risk.
When you look across an entire year you’ll see that on average, one woman is killed every week by a current or former partner in Australia. One in four young Australians are exposed to domestic violence. In such an amazing country, how have we allowed this to happen? Are we prepared to let this continue?
You might feel that domestic violence is someone else’s problem but with it having such a dramatic effect across our nation, it’s everyone’s problem. White Ribbon Australia calling on men, women, workplaces, young people and the whole community to uncover secrets and help stop men’s violence against women.
So, how do you know if someone you know or love if experiencing domestic violence?
Most violence against women happens in the home and other private places, so you probably won’t see it happening. Here are signs that a woman is experiencing violence and abuse:
• She often mentions that her partner is ‘jealous’ or has a ‘bad temper’.
• She is afraid of her partner and tries hard to please him.
• Her partner criticises and humiliates her in public.
• She has become increasingly anxious or depressed, has lost confidence or is unusually quiet.
• She has physical injuries (for example bruises, cuts and sprains) and gives unlikely explanations for these injuries.
• She tells you that her partner pressures or forces her to perform sexual acts.
• Her partner makes all the decisions, for example he controls the finances and tells her who she can and can’t see.
• Her children seem frightened of her partner, have behavioural issues or are withdrawn and anxious.
• She doesn’t want to leave her children alone with her partner.
• If she has left the relationship, her ex-partner calls or emails her constantly, follows her, comes to her house uninvited or waits for her at work.
I will stand up, speak out and act to prevent men’s violence against women.
Take the oath to stand up, speak out and act to prevent domestic violence. If you’re still wondering what you can do about it, spend a bit of time checking out the White Ribbon website. While you’re there, I hope you’ll also throw in a few dollars to help the White Ribbon cause.
This violence must stop. You must be part of the solution.
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