If you’re experiencing domestic violence, use this information to make a plan that works for you.
Be the hero
When it comes to family violence, the way we use language can be part of the problem according to Dr. Jackson Katz, a leading U.S. violence prevention advocate and educator.
Speaking at February’s Be the Hero! event organised by the Victorian Women’s Trust and held at Melbourne Town Hall, Dr. Katz encouraged Australians to stop using language that perpetuates the victimisation of women. “We ask ‘How many women were abused?’ not ‘How many men abused women?’ This is how power functions through stealth,” said Dr. Katz.
Dr. Katz, who works in gender violence prevention education with men and boys in sport and the military, called on men to step up and show leadership. “We need a lot more from men,” he said. Instead of passively standing by, he wants men to speak up and challenge other men who treat women with disrespect.
His ‘Bystander’ approach dispenses with men as perpetrators and women as victims, and seeks to create a peer culture that doesn’t accept this kind of behaviour.
Silence, Dr. Katz reminded us, is a form of consent towards attitudes and behaviours that are not acceptable. Quoting Martin Luther King he said: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
Emerge is actively involved in community education surrounding family violence issues. As a specialist in the area, we’re well placed to discuss family violence issues in the media.
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