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White Ribbon Day Speech Elvis Cheng

Safety. It’s a luxury too many of us take for granted. Whether it be in the workplace, on the streets or at home. The right to feel safe is one which too many women are denied especially in what should be the safest environment, our homes. White Ribbon is the world’s largest movement aimed to end men’s violence against women, promoting social change for safer and respectful relationships. White Ribbon Day is a chance to reflect not just on where we need to go but how far we have come. The world is not perfect, one in four women have experienced at least one incident of violence in a relationship however the taboo of not speaking out, and not seeking help is slowly being eroded.

For many years I have heard much of the same, the numbers of women subjected to violence every year, the number of deaths, the number of sexual assaults. But let’s not focus on the numbers today. Change happens with us. Morally it should be a no brainer, violence against and any form of abusing women is inexcusable. Numbers which shock shouldn’t be the factor to spur change. It’s more that, it’s about education changing social expectations to establish the right individual values and ensure violence against women just doesn’t exist because it’s just wrong. White Ribbon Day and the invaluable work they do is a step toward the light. Debunking previously accepted norms of what’s acceptable at home, what a respectful relationship entails and how to intervene and seek help are aspects which White Ribbon has promoted to a new generation of men.

Our message today is about breaking the cycle. In particular the social cycle of domestic violence. Domestic violence is not a phenomenon which appeared out of thin air, it's existence today is a reflection of a social environment where violence against women was once tolerated and the accepted norm. When tackling problems there are three types of people, those who are part of the problem, those who stand by or those who actually do something about it. Techies we’ve never been ones to stand on the sidelines and I hope we will never be the ones who perpetrate the problem. We need to be those who stand up and speak out on this pressing issue. In the end it's about breaking the cycle, changing ethical attitudes on what we perceive what's right and what's wrong.

So what can we do? Well, it’s about recognising the line, the line where banter becomes harassment, the line where a simple dispute becomes abuse and standing up to do something about it. So guys today when you take the oath like you have done so every year or do so for the first time. Remember it’s not a hollow statement. Those words mean you are part of something bigger, part of a group of men who are taking a stand to break the cycle of domestic violence. Being a part of something which saves lives.

Domestic violence has for too long been hidden behind the closed of doors of the home. Change happens with us. Techies, as the next generation never have we been more informed more educated in whats right or wrong in regards to the abuse of women. White Ribbon day events like this one have gone a long way in instilling a culture where domestic violence against women is just not on.

Guys the buck stops with us.

White Ribbon Day Speech Maazin Jaame

Breaking the cycle

Sydney Tech’s 2016 message in support of White Ribbon Day is breaking the cycle – how we as young men can actively prevent domestic violence against women by breaking the social cycle of domestic violence. Although domestic violence is not always a result of a social cycle, more often than not, it is. When on average there is one woman a week who is killed by her partner as a result of domestic violence in Australia alone, it is our duty and our obligation as men to put an end to it.

The first step in solving any problem is to identify the issue, and domestic violence is no different. Domestic violence mainly occurs due to a clear lack of respect in a relationship, where one individual feels as if they are superior or holds more power, often leading to an abuse of this power. In order to combat this, we urge you to treat the women in your lives, your mother, your sisters and your partners with the utmost respect, letting them know that you support them as well encouraging men in your lives to also treat women with respect. Although this may not seem like a major step, it is an essential step in breaking the cycle of domestic violence against women. If we as men are taught to always respect the women in our lives, it leads to healthy relationships in the future, which will pre-emptively reduce the number of domestic violence incidents within Australia.

Another vital step in solving the problem is being vocal about it and taking action against domestic violence towards women. Many of us guys when faced with the idea of domestic violence, which can be in the form of misogynistic comments or see it happening are not sure what the right thing to do is. One of the easiest things to do when confronting the issue of domestic violence is to raise awareness. To remove the stigma, to break the silence and to encourage women facing domestic violence to speak up. This means that in a school situation or even online when something is said with intent of misogyny, call it out, tell the person who said it that it isn’t okay. We learn most of our behaviour from mainly the men in our lives, our fathers and our peers, and one of the most powerful tools we have to break the cycle is our ability to speak up about behaviour that is disrespectful towards women

And for when you witness/hear about as incidence of domestic violence here are things that we can do to diffuse the situation and stop it before it gets worse:

  1. Call the police immediately
  2. Tell the perpetrator clearly that their actions are not okay
  3. Consult the victim in order to make them feel safe and reassure them that it will be okay
  4. Call for help around you
  5. Safely attempt to intervene in order to create a distraction or calm down the perpetrator

Also remember that it isn’t about being a vigilante, be smart and help where you can

There is no justifiable reason to physically assault a woman. It is not okay to hit her if she makes you angry, it is not okay to hit her if she makes a mistake and it not okay to hit her even if she cheats on you. It is simply not okay. Techies when you take the oath later on this assembly, don’t take it light of heart. By taking this oath, you are voicing your commitment to breaking the cycle of domestic violence, to respect the women around you, to teach your future sons that it’s never okay to assault a woman, to raise awareness and to intervene when possible. This speech isn’t about demonising you guys, telling you that someday you will become part of the problem simply because you are a guy, this speech is a call for the long awaited end to domestic violence, the breaking of the cycle. Remember boys, change starts with you.

If you want more advice about what to do or would like to learn more about domestic violence in Australia, you can go to the white ribbon day website.



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"Every individual has the right to realise himself: that is to fully develop the power and capacities, physical, mental, moral and spiritual; with which nature endowed him."

 − JA Williams, 1912 (first Principal of Sydney Technical High School)