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This is Not A ‘Wife Beater’: Say it with a cup

HerCanberra Team

Over 50 Canberra cafes will join in a special campaign to run on International Women’s Day on Tuesday 8 March, raising awareness of violence against women.

The campaign, run by local advocacy organisation This is Not a ‘Wife Beater’ (NAWB) in collaboration with YWCA Canberra, will see cafes serving takeaway coffee in special cups featuring messages that expose victim-blaming language and encourage positive bystander action to end violence against women.

“We want to raise awareness of the way our language and culture implicitly minimises and even condones violence against women, and often blames the victim for the violence perpetrated against her,” campaign coordinator and founder of TINAWB, Alisa Draskovic, said. “We believe this campaign will get people thinking about the ways in which our language contributes to how women are treated in our community, and the everyday ways we can condemn violence against women and promote respectful relationships.”

Frances Crimmins, Executive Director of YWCA Canberra said the campaign also raises much needed awareness of primary prevention, as a key part of ending violence against women in the long term.

“If we’re going to address the underlying attitudes and behaviours that lead to victim-blaming, and a culture of gender inequality that causes violence against women, it’s crucial that we have respectful relationships programs in our schools,” says Frances. 

“This campaign will also raise funds for YWCA Canberra’s suite of respectful relationships programs, and is a really positive way for the community to take action this International Women’s Day.”

 A diverse range of people from the government, community, and business sectors, including influential young women such as ACT Young Australian of the Year Nipuni (Nip) Wijewickrema and and HerCanberra Women to Watch Kylie Travers, have come together in the past to support This is Not a ‘Wife Beater’.

This is Not a ‘Wife Beater’ is a grass-roots, not-for-profit campaign that challenges harmful language, attitudes, stereotypes and myths associated with intimate partner and family violence. The campaign renames the singlets colloquially referred to as ‘wife beaters’ as ‘respecters’, and uses them as a symbol to promote respectful relationships and safe communities for everyone.

“I’m very honoured to be part of the This is Not a ‘Wife Beater’ campaign. As a young person campaigning for inclusion in our community, I believe it’s vital that respect is a widely used word and sentiment. I would absolutely not tolerate anyone who chose to disrespect my very special sister, Gayana, and I see no human as any different,” says Nip.

The campaign seeks to engage with and challenge the broader culture within which domestic violence is committed and draw attention to the ways in which we, as individuals and as a community, minimise and condone domestic violence, by focusing on the term ‘wife beater’, a reference to violence against women, to describe an item of clothing.

the essentials 

What: This is Not a ‘Wife Beater’ International Women’s Day 2016 campaign
Where: Over 50 participating cafes. Click here for the full list: www.thisisnawb.com.au
When: Tuesday 8 March

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