So far, in the 35 years I have been on this planet I have not endured abuse of any kind. I realise this puts me in a very fortunate group, as the statistics show that one in three Australian women will suffer some form of physical abuse, with one in five being abuse of a sexual nature.
Shockingly, the statistics also show that close to one Australian woman dies every week at the hands of a current or former partner.
Although I haven’t been exposed to such violence in my own life, these statistics are still my problem. They are our problem.
As a community, a nation and a planet, it is our responsibility to do all that we can to eradicate violence in all its forms, with emphasis on violence against women and children because it is disturbingly so prevalent.
Watch this new national campaign, ‘Our Watch’, aimed at making violence against women and their children a community issue, not a private, ‘behind closed doors’ one.
Hearing those words come from the mouths of innocent little children is definitely jarring, but highlights the fact that both victims and perpetrators of family violence were once hopeful, innocent children too.
Violence against women needs to be an active conversation. Talk to your daughters, your nieces and your sisters about it. Be a supportive ear to a friend who needs it. Don’t shrug off sexist and gender-oppressive comments. Reach out for help if you are in an abusive relationship yourself. If you’re not sure if you are, chances are – you are.
We are all trying our best to raise happy and healthy children, and one of the best ways to do this is to provide a safe home environment where they feel supported and loved.
No matter who you are or where you’re from, home should always, ALWAYS, be a place where you feel valued, respected and above all, safe. If your home falls anything short of that, please know that there is help out there available to you.
If you, or anyone you know are exposed to family violence, abuse or sexual assault, please call 1800-RESPECT (1800 -732-732) for access to a qualified counselling professional or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au for an online counselling session and more information.