Hey Mate!

Many men in relationships treat their partners with the respect they deserve, and they would never dream of being emotionally or physically abusive towards them. Unfortunately, some men don’t share this outlook. Do you ever hear other men talking about beating, or verbally abusing their wives or girlfriends? Criticising your mates is never fun, but this may be one of those situations where it’s unavoidable – that is, if you want to make a difference.

It’s estimated that one in three women over the age of 15 has experienced domestic violence and every week, at least one Australian woman dies from domestic violence. This isn’t such a surprise considering that even just one generation ago, many people wouldn’t have considered a man occasionally hitting his girlfriend or wife to be a particularly serious issue. Luckily, things have changed.

Pulling your friends up on their behaviour can be difficult, even if you think their behaviour is unacceptable, and it can be tempting to turn a blind eye. Don’t.

Often, harmless banter isn’t as innocent as it seems, and if you feel uncomfortable with what another man is saying about his girlfriend or wife, you don’t have to tolerate it. Men who hit women are bullies and cowards. Since when was it macho or manly to beat up your wife or girlfriend?

White Ribbon’s new ‘Hey Mate!’ campaign is encouraging men to tell their mates domestic violence is not okay. You can watch the TV commercial here.

People are influenced by their friends, so every time you speak up you are helping to make a difference. Domestic violence isn’t just an issue for the women who are victims, it’s an issue that affects men too.