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Ribbons spreading message to our men

By Mark Beale

Violence against women is never acceptable and it is every

one’s responsibility to make sure this message is heard loud and clear.

Men in particular have a key role to play and yesterday’s White Ribbon Day was about recognising the positive role men can have in preventing violence against women.

The Whitsunday Crisis and Counselling Service uses White Ribbon Day as a way to communicate the message locally, and welcomed men from all walks of life to their office this week in a show of strength and unity.

Holding their White Ribbon Day placards, the men repeated the oath that typifies the attitude all men should have when it comes to violence against women: “I will stand up, speak out and act to prevent men’s violence against women”. Whitsunday Crisis and Counselling Service’s CEO Steve Alexander said White Ribbon Day was about raising awareness of the issue in the local community and enlisting the support of men, no matter what their age, background or profession. “It’s about men speaking out about violence against women,” he said.

“It’s important to note that the majority of men are not perpetrators, but the majority of perpetrators are men. So men have a very important role to play in standing up and speaking out about the issue.

“We need to raise awareness of the problem and get the message out there that it’s not okay to commit violence against women and we have seen that the pinnacle of this can often lead to death, which of course is totally unacceptable. All violence against women is unacceptable and can encompass verbal, emotional, psychological and sexual violence, as well as physical violence.”

Mr Alexander said part of the problem was that violence against women was a learned behaviour and it was here that other men could have a positive effect by setting a good example and talking about it.

“Unfortunately, some children grow up in violent households and this is what they learn to replicate as adults but by standing up and speaking out, other men can show perpetrators it is never okay,” he said.

WCCS will have White Ribbon Day posters on display in their reception area all this week and there is also a White Ribbon Day display in the Cannonvale Library this week to raise awareness.

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