DC Fit Masthead

This is Not A Wife Beater

HerCanberra Team

On average, one woman is killed every week in Australia by a current or former partner. The seriousness of intimate partner and family violence cannot be overstated and yet, it is socially acceptable to refer to a navy or white singlet as a ‘wife beater’.

Failing to question why an item of clothing derives its name from violence against women is deeply disturbing and reflects how normalised joking about violence is, especially in violation is, especially in relation to violence against women.

This is Not A Wife Beater (NAWB) is a Canberra-based, not-for-profit campaign that challenges harmful language, attitudes, stereotypes and myths that minimise and condone intimate partner and family violence.

The campaign reclaims the singlets casually referred to as ‘wife beaters’ and renames them ‘respecters’, using them a symbol to promote respectful relationships.

NAWB calls for people to promote respectful relationships and safe, inclusive communities through a photo campaign. The photo campaign involves taking photos of participants wearing or holding up a ‘respecter’ singlet and sharing them on social media.

The campaign encourages you to be a ‘respecter’ by challenging you and the people around you – your friends, family, peers, colleagues and fellow Canberrans – to do something. This starts with accepting responsibility for the way you think, talk and act while taking action such as calling out the minisation of violence against women and to put an end to intimate partner and family violence.

The ANU Women’s Department first ran NAWB in 2013 at the University. To view photos from the 2013 campaign, visit the Facebook page.

This year the campaign is being relaunched with the generous support of Yvette Berry MLA, the YWCA of Canberra and the ACT Women’s Services Network (which includes organisations such as the Domestic Violence Crisis Service ACT, Inanna Inc. and Toora Women Inc.)

A public exhibition of the photos taken during this year’s campaign will be held at the Legislative Assembly later this year.

How to get involved

The campaign will be relaunched Canberra – wide in the coming weeks. Stay up to date via their Facebook page or the website.

There are many ways for individuals, families and organisations to be ‘respecters’:

  1. Respecter singlets will be available for purchase through the website. Your order will include information about how to share your photos on social media. A portion of the proceeds from singlet sales will be donated to frontline services assisting people experiencing intimate partner and family violence in Canberra.
  2. For large or special orders please email [email protected] with your request. We can also arrange to take photos for you.
  3. Attend a ‘Be a Respecter’ Day – a community event where you can meet and talk to the campaign organisers, learn more about the campaign but there’ll be plenty of singlets for sale. Event dates will be posted on our website and social media platforms.

Find us This is Not A Wife Beater on Facebook or visit the website.

Source: Media release provided by YWCA Canberra. 


Her Canberra

Sometimes a story is bigger than one person...that's when the HerCanberra Team puts its collective head together to come up with the goods. Enjoy! More about the Author