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Take a Stand

Victorian Womens Health Atlas

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A world without restraining orders

Letter to the editor by Petra Begnell, Program and Strategic Development Manager – Prevention of Violence against Women, Women’s Health Victoria

Domestic violence is everyone’s business and everyone has a positive role to play in eliminating it. It is up to each and every one of us to take a stand and call people out when they say or do things that support domestic violence. There are things people do and say everyday that subtly support domestic violence, and by taking a stand against them everyone can help prevent domestic violence. From those ‘off’ jokes about women that we might laugh at – but deep down know they’re ‘off’ for a reason, to attacks on women in positions of power by figures in the media, to excusing violent behaviour as a ‘loss of control’, to ignoring violence inflicted on those close to us as ‘just a domestic’ – all this contributes to a culture where domestic violence is tolerated, and ultimately supported. Creating the change we want to see can help us shift towards a society where restraining orders, domestic violence and the murder of women at the hands of their current or ex-partner are things of the past.

An edited version appeared as Letter of the Week in the Herald Sun, 14/10/2012.