The Challenge of Family Violence

I was prompted by a recent discussion on FaceBook to write this response which I am sharing with all my fellow men.

I have been looking at the problem of FV for some time as a White Ribbon Ambassador and Chair of the Benalla Family Violence Prevention Network.

In our community I have been emphasising male responsibility. We males have a responsibility for our actions, as the Victorian Chief Commissioner wrote in today’s paper “It is men who predominantly do the hitting, abusing and killing. It is men’s fault that harm is caused to those they abuse, not the victims” and then makes this challenge “Men need to develop the courage to make it clear to their male friends and family members that violence against women is totally unacceptable”. So we have been talking to our young men about being a courageous leader to call out bad behaviour by their mates. Respond early, not when it is too late.

The other thing I talk about is the deep seated issues of why are young men acting so violently in their close relationships and out on the street? This requires a deep, deep conversation about society itself. To be honest, there is no quick fix. Think about this … the primary offenders are males aged between 16 and 25 years. So something has gone very wrong in the way these young men have been raised. I call this a failure in Values; a failure in Parenting; a failure by Fathers; Yet, I am encouraged that the solution is actually in the hands of men. It is about role models. It is about mentoring. It is about men showing this current generation of young men and those who are just growing up, that there is another way to live their lives.

So in this FaceBook discussion, I encourage men of courage to stand up and be an example to the men in your lives and show them that there is a better way, another way. A way that respects the women in our lives. A way that finds some ancient and timeless wisdom in these biblical values: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this discussion

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