Violence can take many forms

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

PEOPLE across the country will mark White Ribbon Day today Australia’s leading male-led campaign to end violence against women.

VicHealth’s National Community Attitudes Survey on Violence against Women, released recently, revealed some worrying statistics about men’s attitudes to violence.

One in five Australian men does not think it is serious when a person repeatedly criticises their partner to make them feel bad or useless.

One third of men do not consider someone trying to control their partner by denying them money as a form of domestic violence.

And nearly one in 10 men do not classify as serious a person throwing or smashing an object near a partner to frighten or threaten them.

It is important to recognise that violence against women takes many forms.

It is more than slapping, punching and sexual violence it can be a flippant remark among friends, emotional abuse or controlling a partner’s finances.

It affects wives, sisters, mothers, daughters and friends.

All women, regardless of their roles, have the right to be safe and treated with respect.

Men have a key role to play in changing attitudes which enable violence against women to continue.

We have seen many high-profile men stand up and take a leading role in this regard.

White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for all men to join those who have already taken a stand to challenge everyday sexism, stereotypes and disrespect towards women.