20 April 2015
As part of YWCA Canberra’s Respect NOW campaign, over the coming weeks we’ll unveil our passionate Respect Champions. These wonderful women are helping us further our advocacy efforts, calling on the ACT Government to prioritise funding for primary prevention and early intervention programs, to end violence against women. To support the Respect NOW campaign, please sign our online petition and share it with your family and friends.
Meet one of our Respect Champions, Darlene Cox.
Darlene has been involved in the consumer movement since the late 1990s. She is an eminent advocate for health consumers with an excellent knowledge of the health system, both locally and nationally. Darlene has a strong, practical understanding of community engagement principles. She has been the Executive Director of Health Care Consumers’ Association Incorporated since 2008. She is also a member of the Executive of ACT Council of Social Services and member of the ACT Local Hospital Network Council.
Describe yourself in 30 words or less.
Mother, daughter, wife, friend and health advocate. I am committed to working with government and community organisations to increase their understanding of the value of consumer participation and community engagement in improving the quality and safety of services.
Tell us why you signed up to become a Respect Champion?
Violence is about power. Violence against women and children is an unacceptable demonstration of power. I want to do what I can to challenge any idea that people may hold that violence is a normal dimension of relationships. It is not. Violence is not an acceptable way to deal with conflict, frustration or anger.
Why do you think we need more action from governments to prevent violence against women?
Violence against women and children is an issue that affects our whole community. We all have responsibility to act to prevent it. Government plays an important role in working with the community to identify needs, gaps in services and to develop and fund programs, communications campaigns, policy work, and legislation to bring about this change.
Every element of our community is touched by violence against women. It is a significant cost on our society, it affects a large number of people – teachers, health workers, business owners, community workers and those in the justice system. There needs to be more joined up action so that government services are focussed on those people experiencing violence and to prevent violence. We want a concerted effort by government to identify the problem, and work together to address this and bring about the social change we need.
What action would you like our readers to take right now to help end violence against women?
Do not remain silent. Do not accept that violence is an valid form of expression. Speak out.
I want people to build their awareness and knowledge of the extent of the issue in our communities, in our families and in our friendship networks and skills to develop, maintain and promote equality and respect in our relationships. Let’s take back the power and say No Way to violence against women and children.