Sexual assault on campus is overwhelming. A national survey by the Human Rights Commission has revealed that in 2016, 82 per cent of harassment reports involved men as the perpetrators. While most men do not use violence against women, when such violence does occur, it is largely perpetuated by males. I believe that ideals and behaviours linked to masculinity are influential in these statistics.
It is not emasculating to support women and speak on this issue. This is not solely a women’s battle. This issue is not divided by gender. To bring about meaningful social reform, women can’t stand alone. Men have a positive and vital role to play in helping facilitate change. There is more power in standing together. In a time where men are sharing the load more than ever before, like domestic chores, it is time that they share this load too.
Thank you to the men who have spoken on this issue, to the men who support women in our advocacy for change in culture without calling us “man bashers”, who show compassion, and carry the weight of this burden just as much as we do.
White Ribbon Australia is part of a global movement of men working to end men’s violence against women. The organisation aims to engage men in making women’s safety a man’s issue too. I love that White Ribbon provides important resources, mobilising men to be part of the social change needed to prevent men’s violence against women.
To learn more about White Ribbon Australia and their campaigns and programs, head to their website here: https://www.whiteribbon.org.au/
- Niamh Armstrong