Respect Champion – Jennifer Wittwer

23 April 2015

Jennifer Wittwer

Jennifer Wittwer

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.

Describe yourself in 30 words or less.
A strong, passionate and constructive advocate for gender equality, committed to influencing Defence’s impact on the rights for, and empowerment of, women and girls in conflict-affected communities.

Tell us why you signed up to become a Respect Champion.
Violence against women and girls is sadly prevalent in both peace time and conflict. It disempowers women and girls and affects their ability to contribute in meaningful ways to public life, community and family. The protection of women and girls from violence is essential to sustainable peace and security home and abroad. Women and girls have a right to claim back and express the gender equality afforded to them in this day and age, and men do not have the right to take that away from them through violence, control, power and abuse.

Why do you think we need more action from governments to prevent violence against women?
We need strong commitment from, and a demonstration of effort by, governments to act to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls. This requires stronger legislation, greater access to judicial processes, and resourced support for victims and their families. Women and girls need to feel and be safe, and retain their dignity and human rights.

What action would you like our readers to take right now to help end violence against women?
Step up and take action – the standard you walk past is the standard you accept. Exhibit moral courage by reporting violence, even when it occurs behind closed doors. Help those affected by the violence, help educate your own community, and develop respectful relationships within your own families and in the community. Treat others as you would have them treat you.

Watch this video from Jennifer Wittner explaining why she’s standing up to be a Respect Champion.

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