With the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women observed on 25 November, it’s more important than ever to reflect on what adults can do to help stop violence—before it even starts, says Pallavi Sinha, Principal Lawyers with Solutions, Academic & Notary Public
Pallavi is joining community advocates around the country in urging parents, carers and other influential adults to think about what young people learn from their words and actions, and take small steps to help break the cycle of violence against women. Their message is simple: Respect starts with us.
“As influencers of young people, whether we’re parents, family members, teachers, coaches, employers or role models, what we say, do and how we act in front of young people does have an impact,” says Pallavi.
“If we ignore, downplay or excuse disrespectful behaviour, we are teaching our young people that it is ok. This is dangerous, because we now know that violence against women starts with disrespect,” she adds.
The campaign calls on adults to reflect on their own attitudes, and consciously make an effort to discuss respect with the young people in their lives.
“We can all take a moment to reflect on our own attitudes and actions—have we ever played down or excused disrespectful behaviour, by saying things like ‘he just did it because he likes you’, or ‘he’s just being a boy’? When was the last time we spoke to our children about respect? If we stop and reflect on our own attitudes, and then start a conversation with young people about respect, we can help prevent violence from happening later,” Pallavi says.
To support adults there are Hindi resources to use as a guide, and help start the conversation about respect with young people.
The resources are free and can be downloaded at www.respect.gov.au/campaign/CALD-materials/. For more information, such as the research, background information, frequently asked questions and more about the issue, please visit www.respect.gov.au