International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women: 25 November #HearMeToo
Published: 21 November 2018
The Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) supports the theme of this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which is this Sunday 25 November, #HearMeToo.
AASW National President Christine Craik said, “This has been yet another shocking year for violence against women in Australia, with 60 women killed in 2018. Many more are living with, or have survived family violence.
“We also know that for many women, for many reasons, it’s not possible to speak. To those women, whose names we may never have the privilege of knowing, we take this occasion to say that we hear you, too; and that we notice the wisdom, the courage and the survival in your silence.
“But let this not be another occasion on which women speak only to each other about the devastating consequences of gendered violence. To those who cause harm: we believe in your capacity to change. Only you are accountable to your choice to use violence, and to the pain and fear inflicted in the lives of women and their children. Only you are responsible for seeking support for your behaviour. Today, we implore you to seek support.
“To those in positions of power, capable of beginning the huge cultural change we need in our society to end this violence against women, today we also implore you to have the courage and enact that change.
“Australian social workers are committed to having a strong voice on matters of social justice and human rights, which is why, importantly, we want to remind Australian governments that gendered violence is common, but it is not inevitable. Gendered violence is a systemic issue, driven by gendered inequality, and it can be addressed by cultural change.
“This can only occur when there is a concerted effort, and adequate investment, toward that end. We need a national coordination of prevention, early intervention, crisis and recovery. This is what we are calling on Australian governments to commit to today. As more and more women come forward to speak truth to power, to say ‘hear me, too’, we ask that governments be responsive to the building tide of social change; that one day, the leadership of this country might be able to say, ‘we did’.”
Christine Craik is available for interview. She is a renowned expert in family violence and completing her PhD in the subject at RMIT University.
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