Men need to take a seat at the table

The below is an entry from No to Violence Board Member, Tim Laurie, who wished to express his feelings in the aftermath of the murders that took place in Camp Hill, Queensland.

The sea of violence against women and children remains unwavering despite significant increased focus. For all the work done to combat the high number of innocent lives taken by men through their use of violence, the killing remains constant.

It is both disheartening, and exasperating, for all of us who stand for a different future, though we keep on with increased vigour; working to make that future come true.

I spent last week listening to the media. Minister for Women, Hon. Marise Payne, in emphasising the need for action, said ‘Nothing is off the table’.

But there is.  

Men!

Men are off the table, always have been, still are now, and predictably will be into the future despite the horror of what happened to Hannah Clarke and her children.

Politicians should be leading. Right now, they should be inviting, and speaking, to all men. The facts are that men are killing women and children with regularity.

It’s up to men collectively to stop their use of violence against women, to change their behaviour, to respect women and children; to be equal.

There is no excuse for the use of violence. Men know all this, yet they continue to step over and ignore the line. They’re also often reticent to engage in, or act on, a collective responsibility.

The questions we need to be asking are:

  • When are men going stop using violence, dominance and control?
  • How are men collectively going change their behaviour?
  • When are men going to call out and stop using language, and expressions, that are disrespectful to others?
  • When are men going act on gender (in)equity and stand for equality?
  • How can we support men to stand collectively against violence?

No to Violence needs to enable and support these type of questions being asked. These are questions all men need to hear, to think about and to reflect on. The cultural shift will be slow – however, as more men change, more will follow.

Inevitably, another woman will be murdered. What we need to do is work together to hone the conversation around the crux of the issue; the issue being men’s collective unwillingness to take responsibility for the ongoing systematic violence against women and children.

I, and all, at No to Violence would welcome input on how we take this vital step.

Tim

No to Violence Board Member