Here we are in November, mostly vaccinated and ready to continue our lives with COVID safely. Unfortunately, the latest statistics show the increased lack of safety for many families, as family abuse has increased during lockdown.
After visiting 86 Rotary Clubs and Inner Wheel Clubs, I am however left reflecting on why we find abuse such a "taboo" topic. Mostly people avoid the reality of abuse occurring whilst making sounds of agreement to becoming informed, but instead quietly return to their believed homeostatic state of the "inactive bystander".
What does it take for more Australians to be alarmed and be part of the solution in the prevention of abuse?
The Duchess of Cornwall last year addressed the Women of the World Conference and said: "...domestic abuse can affect anybody, regardless of social standing or wealth and implored those suffering to seek help ... Nothing makes you immune to domestic abuse happening ... It affects everybody. It doesn’t matter who you are ... My message to people: whoever you are, wherever you are from, there are organisations that can help you. Go and get help. Talk to them, just get up and talk about your experiences. They will help.”
In 1985, the Traffic Accident Commission in their mass medial interventions to prevent drink/driving used the slogan: "If you drink'n drive ... you're a bloody idiot!" It has taken 36 years of promotion, for us to respect that drink/driving is a crime and is unacceptable. Well, family abuse is also a crime and totally unacceptable. Rotarians can make a difference by promoting Rotary SAFE Families campaign!
The World Health Organisation cites: "Although the effect of mass media interventions, aimed at whole societies, on levels of violent behaviour have seldom been evaluated, their success in addressing other public health issues (smoking and drink-driving, for instance) suggests they have a critical role to play in the prevention of violence."
This is what Rotary SAFE Families is about. It is aimed at getting society on board to challenge, support and become active in identifying, calling out abuse safely, and getting help for the victim.
Why aren't more Rotarians stepping up to show their acceptance of our campaign in Stopping Abuse in Families Everywhere?
There is "NO Excuse for Abuse" so what is your excuse?
Dorothy is seeking translators to translate our Rotary SAFE Families Guide for Friends, Families & Neighbours into at least 10 languages. If you can assist with these translations or know someone who can help, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org