Stop it at the Start
If you think violence against women is a big problem, tackle it when it’s a little one.
From a young age, boys and girls start to believe there are reasons and situations that make disrespectful behaviour acceptable. Research has shown that excusing disrespectful and aggressive behaviours towards girls and women is learned from an early age, and that:
- from an early age, young people begin to believe there are reasons and situations that can make disrespectful behaviour acceptable
- girls blame themselves, questioning whether the trigger for the behaviour is potentially their fault, rather than questioning the behaviour of the male
- boys blame others, particularly the female, and deflect personal responsibility telling each other it was a bit of a joke—it didn’t mean anything
- adults accept the behaviour when they say ‘it takes two to tango’ or ‘boys will be boys’
- the cost of doing something is considered to be too high – parents worry about embarrassing their child, or even themselves; teachers and coaches are unsure how far to go.
We all have an important role to play to ensure future generations grow up in a culture that promotes respect. To do this we need to start by recognising the problem and leading by example, to stop the excuses and start a conversation about respect.
We've all heard easy excuses. What excuse will stop you?