A few good men take a stance against domestic violence
STATISTICS show that domestic violence in Australia is a gendered issue.
If you are involved in a situation of domestic violence and are female, chances are you will be the victim. In that same situation if you are male, chances are you will be the perpetrator.
When our communities rally publicly against the abuse epidemic, women seem to always outnumber men.
Thursday's Queensland Says Enough protest did not buck this trend.
Around 200 women and a handful of guys gathered at the Brisbane court precinct to peacefully protest the epidemic that has allegedly killed seven Queensland women in the past month.
Though it's important to say the courts have not determined the guilt of the accused - and they deserve a fair trial.
Those few good men who did turn up made it clear that they would hold male perpetrators to account.
Queensland Police Acting Deputy Assistant Commissioner Paul Stewart, DVConnect Mensline manager Mark Walters, Cueball Creative director Paul Ferry, White Ribbon ambassador Tim Class-Auliff and Queensland Homicide Victim Support Group president Doug Elmore arrived at the rally separately and all delivered the same blunt message - "enough is enough".
Mr Stewart urged men with anger problems to get help before they destroyed a woman's life.
"The vast number of domestic violence perpetrators are men," he said.
"As a man and a police officer I encourage all men to not let things spiral out of control - seek help and seek support."
Mr Walters, who helps male perpetrators find a path to non-violence every day, said it was never too late to ask for support.
"It's a complex problem but I'm saying to men they need to challenge some of the constructions of masculinity," he said.
Mr Ferry, a businessman who went to the rally because he wanted to show his support for victims and their families, said it was time for blokes to "man up" and take a stand.
"My reason for being here is because when I look around 90% of the people here are female but the problem is created by men expressing themselves with violence," Mr Ferry said.
"There seems to me to be a distinct lack of responsibility from the male community.
"Why aren't men being responsible for this?"
Mr Class-Auliff's childhood was littered with domestic abuse and one of his close family members was murdered by a male abuser.
He urged men to call out their mates over sexist and misogynistic actions.
"If you see anything, you have to say 'Don't do this'," Mr Class-Auliff said.
"They've got to stand up and speak out about these kind of things."
Mr Elmore also had the same message.
"If you see or know of a mate who is abusing a female, step in and call them out on it," he said.
*For 24-hour support phone Queensland's DVConnect on 1800 811 811 or Mensline on 1800 600 636, NSW's Domestic Violence Line on 1800 656 463 or the national hotline 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732).
- ARM NEWSDESK