The 'R' word

It's about truly respecting each other. Because no-one hits anyone or anything that they respect

Our current Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and American R&B singer, Aretha Franklin, both understand what it's ultimately about.

It's the ‘R' word.

As Mr Turnbull, who's also the ambassador for White Ribbon Australia, recently stated; "Disrespecting women does not always result in violence against women, but all violence against women begins with disrespecting women."

And Ms Franklin's take? "R.E.S.P.E.C.T.," as she famously sang in 1967.

The White Ribbon campaign started in Canada in 1991 with the aim of drawing attention to the issue of violence against women in the hope of eliminating it. A quarter of a century later it is now active in more than 60 countries.

White Ribbon's vision is that "all women live in safety free of all forms of men's violence". The mission for achieving this is to make women's safety a man's issue too. To bring men into the conversation. That way we can all work towards a common goal of non-violence and mutual respect.

With this in mind, we at TAFE Bytes canvassed the views and opinions of some of the blokes in the office. We asked them what they thought of the issue of violence against women and the importance of the White Ribbon campaign. Here are their responses…

"White Ribbon Day, or any other day denouncing violence against anyone (female, male, kids, colleagues, etc) is a great way to promote the issues and long term solutions around violence, physical or emotional. Things have improved in my lifetime, but there is a long way to go before everyone is educated about rights, responsibilities and support services that are available. People need to feel free to first talk about, then stand up against violence in the home, workplace or public without thinking about the negative consequences first."  -  Simon

"Violence against women is violence against children. It is violence against men. It is violence against all of us. The cycle of violence that begins when one person betrays another's trust in them, propagates through the generations. It creates violent people who create more violent people. It perpetuates hate, fear, shame. It must stop somewhere, and this is the place to stop it. Never commit violence against women. Stop the cycle and protect future generations from violence."  -  David

"There is nothing manly about resorting to physical violence against anyone. A domestic space should be peaceful and a safe haven from anything else that's troubling. Bringing violence into the domestic setting is just not on."  -  Jim

"Compassion and empathy are key in today's symbiotic relationship between men and women. It's not about who's right… it's about showing empathy towards your partner. This simple practice can eliminate all violence and hatred in the world by recognising that everyone is just trying to achieve happiness and avoid pain."  -  Justan

"Violence against women is wrong. It's cowardly. It's unAustralian. It's weak. Read that again. Say it out loud. Post it on Facebook, on Twitter, record yourself saying it on Instagram and Vine. It's never okay, ever. Neither is violence against children, men or animals. Everyone is responsible. We must all commit to doing whatever is necessary to put a stop to it. Hug your mum, your sister, your girlfriend, your wife, your best friend. Tell them they can come to you for help. Tell them violence against women is a weakness, a criminal and cowardly act."  -  Josh

"Violence against women and children is completely unacceptable. White Ribbon Day is a great initiative to promote this issue. My family has a strong female presence and I feel that all women and children should be treated and respected the same way that one would treat their loved ones. #WhiteRibbonAust"  -  Che

It's sad that in a reasonably advanced society, we still need campaigns about socially acceptable behaviour. We've long evolved from mammoth-hunting, testosterone-fuelled, breeding mammals into a complex species. It doesn't take much thinking to figure out that violence is never a way to solve anything! ...  I've seen a lot of violence. In my past life as a paramedic I've patched up countless women and men who were the recipients of violence. I remember dressing a woman's eye injury while her partner was trying to hack through the door with a small ax. Scary! And the end result of violence is always negative for BOTH parties. ...  Let's stop hurting one another. (((group hug))) -  Brendon

"The mentality that exists in the minds of certain men that they have some kind of a claim to women (and women's bodies) is what underpins much of the violence. It needs to be made clear to these men that no-one has a claim to anyone and we are all here on equal terms. It's about truly respecting each other. Because no-one hits anyone or anything that they respect."  -  Gary