Family violence and violence against women is a stain on the moral character of a society, in any society in which it occurs. It’s an obligation of all societies, particularly the men, to stand up and do all in their power to eradicate this stain.
The definition of being a decent human being is to stand up and do the right thing. The definition of who we are is determined by actions and not words.
There is never, never a religious justification, a cultural, a societal justification for family violence and violence against women. Period. Never. Never. Men particularly have an obligation to speak out. The significant measure of decency of any society is the extent to which men tolerate this abuse of power in family violence and violence against women
To many crimes continue to be committed, too much brutality inflicted, too much pain endured, under the guise of culture.
Right here in Australia, an average of one woman a week is murdered by an abusive partner. 52 women have died since December 2nd. 71 women died in 2018.
It’s time for men to speak up, to stand up, to put themselves in the way. Men need to hold each other accountable, to call out disrespect for women. When men talk in disparaging ways or take disparaging actions relative to women, the likelihood is that most men in the room feel the same way when they hear these remarks.
Studies show men over estimate other men’s tolerance toward violence, their fear of disapproval so they say nothing. They think they are the lone dissenting voice but actually the majority of men think like this. Researchers call this the spiral of silence.
Men are the ones that impact the most on changing culture. As Martin Luther King said 'it is the appalling silence and indifference of the good people that allows evil to flourish.'
The obligation to intervene is a basic moral obligation for every man, one that transcends religious concerns and cultural differences. Men leading by example have the positive effect of empowering other men to take actions that they might not have taken before. This transforms bystanders into advocates and changes our culture, intervening when they see or hear something.
To create an environment where domestic violence, sexual harassment and sexual assault is unacceptable is to work toward a positive agenda that can be carried forward in years and decades to come. Now is the time for men to ignite the conversation and take action.