“I want you to consider what twisted sense of entitlement compels a man to grab a woman in a bar or call her a slut. Men, I want you to consider why blokes are so quiet on these issues. Then I need you to correct that silence." - former Victorian Police Commissioner Ken Lay
“The Standard you walk past, is the standard you accept”- Chief of Army Lieutenant General David Morrison
While there is no single cause of violence against women, research and evidence tells us that the key drivers of violence against women are gender inequality, gender stereotyping and a broader culture of violence. Gender inequality is the core of the problem and it is the heart of the solution.
Studies also show Australians are more likely to excuse abusive behaviour than twenty years ago, calling temporary anger and yelling abuse normal while shrugging off the seriousness of someone controlling household finances to punish their partner.
This is why men have a vital role to play in ending violence against women and their children.
There are a number of organisations working to foster and encourage male leadership in this space, and to increase awareness and change attitudes by promoting respectful and non-violent relationships between all people.
But we need more avenues for men to speak out against violence against women, and to safely and effectively challenge the attitudes and behaviours of a minority of men who use or condone violence against women.
PRAY ABOUT IT
Lord, today we thank you for the men and boys who are already drivers of cultural change needed to prevent domestic and family violence in our communities. We ask that you continue to give these peacemakers wisdom, humility and understanding in their roles as leaders, supporters, counsellors and advocates.
We ask, Lord, that you would continue to raise up more men and boys to take a stand against aggressive and disrespectful attitudes and behaviours. We pray that championing the safety of women and children, and embodying gentle, respectful relationships will become a priority for all men, everywhere. Amen.
- Visit UN Women’s #HeForShe campaign and sign the pledge.
- This article helpfully sets out a range of ways in which men can recognise their privilege relative to women.
- Why don’t we speak up when we see domestic violence? Find out here