‘Silence is the language of complicity … speaking out is the language of change’ is my personal maxim. This resonates with my commitment as an advocate and a feminist to persist in working towards social and political change.
When people make decisions that greatly improve the wellbeing of women and children who have experienced sexual or domestic violence, I feel we are getting somewhere as a community.
I believe we are here to be the best version of ourselves that we can be – and to improve the lives of others around us. Violence is never an acceptable choice, whether it be verbal, physical, psychological, cultural or lateral. We are all part of multiple communities; it’s our responsibility to challenge violence and bullying.
It is every woman’s human right to live a life free of sexual assault and domestic violence. However, if she is subjected to any form of violence, it is equally her right to receive compassionate assistance in her recovery and full redress for the crime through the criminal justice system.
I find it almost inconceivable that, in Sydney today, I live amongst women and children who are denied their basic human rights on the basis of gender, and that this is largely ignored.
It is imperative to challenge the forces within our society that would prefer the issue of child sexual assault to stay silent, or for the silence to be disguised by messages including ‘tired of talking about it’ or ‘it doesn’t seem to be an issue anymore’ or ‘it only happens to certain children in certain families’. A critical responsibility of all who work in the field professionally is to never allow such silence to prevail.