Respect is treating everyone as an equal – it’s up to all of us to ‘call out’ poor behaviour
Respect is the building block of all healthy relationships. Choosing to lead with respect in our relationships, workplaces, schools, universities and homes can ultimately prevent family violence and violence against women, which is driven by entrenched problems like sexism and gender inequality.
This Friday 25 November is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. It’s also day one of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, an annual international initiative galvanising individuals, communities and organisations to address gender inequalities and eradicate violence against women and girls around the world.
As a university community, we must stand together against violence and challenge expressions of gender inequality that allow and reinforce gender-based violence. It can be confronting to stand up in the face of poor behaviour, but there’s things that we can all do to call it out every day – for example:
- Don’t laugh at sexist jokes
- Give a disapproving look to show a behaviour or statement is not okay. Shake your head or roll your eyes.
- Leave a pointed and uncomfortable silence.
- Speak up and educate by explaining why you disagree: ‘Actually, evidence shows the vast majority of women do not make up false claims of sexual assault.’
- Stand up for the person affected: ‘Michelle was saying something, and you cut her off again.’
- Report the behaviour.
Keen to learn more? Watch these stories of respect to hear from everyday Victorians who are creating change in their communities. You can also email [email protected] for information on our bystander training, which gives you tools for dealing with difficult situations in a practical and positive way.
How you can be part of 16 Days of Activism
We encourage you to join in these 16 Days activities from 25 November to 10 December:
- Walk Against Family Violence: join Deakin staff, students and members of the local community to walk in solidarity with those who have been affected by family violence and to raise awareness. Wear something orange – the colour of gender equality! Local buildings and landmarks, including the Deakin sign at our Waterfront Campus, will also be lit up in orange as a show of support throughout the 16 Days.
When: Friday 25 November, 5–7pm
Where: Begins at Cunningham Pier and finishes at The Project Space Gallery, Level 1, Building AD, Deakin Waterfront Campus (corner of Cunningham Street and Western Beach Road). After the walk, check out the art exhibition at The Project Space.
- Art exhibition: created in collaboration with Geelong’s Sexual Assault & Family Violence Centre, don’t miss these artworks from women who have experienced family violence.
When: Friday 25 November to Sunday 3 December
Where: The Project Space Gallery, Level 1, Building AD, Deakin Waterfront Campus (corner of Cunningham Street and Western Beach Road). They’ll also be displayed on digital screens at the Deakin Library on each campus.
- Pledge to be part of the solution: lead the way and inspire others by sharing your own ideas and actions on issues of consent, gender-based violence and gender equality. Add your commitment to our pledge wall during the 16 Days of Activism to galvanise your peers and create momentum for real and lasting change.
- Deakin Life social: check out our Deakin Life Insta during the 16 days for student perspectives. Remember to use the hashtags #RespectIs, #CallItOut #16DaysDeakin if you post or share content.
Do you need support?
If you’ve experienced gender-based violence, or would like help or advice, please reach out. There’s a range of Deakin and community-based support services available. In an emergency, always dial Triple Zero (000).
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