Male Champions for Change are speaking up against domestic violence and saying it is time to work together to find solutions. What is heartening about this is this is the leaders in corporate coming together to speak out. The men at the top that can instigate the change needed. For someone who is being subjected to domestic violence the support of their workplace is invaluable.
Domestic violence is more prevalent than we would like to believe and for an organisation with more than 50,000 employees it’s an unfortunate reality for some of our people. It’s a subject we cannot ignore any longer. All community leaders must work together on developing a practical and urgent response. –Mike Smith, Chief Executive Officer, ANZ
Financial dependence on an abusive partner is a key part in the power and control. This power imbalance can be diminished and even eradicated in some instances if an employer engages in domestic violence policy creation and then actively roles this training out. Feeling safe to disclose in the workplace, I believe, is going to be a key component of how the person being abused can leave safely and be free to build a new safe life.
There is no doubt that this is a huge step forward and that gender inequality play a large part in the issue of domestic violence. There is also no doubt that getting the right resources to victims is essential to changing the alarming statistics. Women work hard to build their careers and in many cases against the tide of gender bias. Fearing losing their career or the hard earned respect of their colleagues, I believe, keeps many women from speaking up. This campaign is setting the groundwork to say: ‘It is ok to speak up, we have your back’. You simply have to take a look at the signatures to know this is a huge positive step forward. As a survivor who lost my corporate career, I cannot be anything but overjoyed to read this.
But, I believe we are missing an opportunity here to see domestic violence for the complex issue that it is. There are so many factors at play that to be one dimensional about this is setting up for problems in the future. Does gender inequality play a role in domestic violence? Yes, of course. Let me say that again: yes, of course. It is not the only issue though; there are many factors to take into consideration. If we are truly serious about finding a solution for the unacceptable domestic violence statistics, we need to look at the bigger picture. We HAVE to start seeing domestic violence as more than a gender issue because it is in the big picture we will find the solution. This will benefit corporates and society alike.
I am a big advocate for gender equality in all areas of life. Until women are seen as equals in business and all areas of society, how can we expect them to be seen as equals in the home? We need to speak up every time we see gender inequality. This is how we will end gender inequality in our society. For businesses to be stepping forward and making gendered domestic violence a corporate issue is a giant leap forward and I am both personally and professionally proud to be part of this positive change. But let’s be clear: seeing domestic violence as a purely gendered issue will not bring about a solution to this pervasive issue, it is time to widen our outlook.