I was recently asked to be part of a panel for International Women’s Day. The theme for the panel discussion was, ‘How To Boldly Make Change As A Woman’. There were four women and one man on the panel and each of us was asked to share our story before answering questions from the audience.
Three out of four women had been abused in their personal relationships, but managed to achieve incredible success in life. As we told our stories about being brave and bold, my heart was touched by the resilience of the human spirit.
One panellist told her father that her boyfriend had beaten her head against concrete. Her father’s response was to tell her she shouldn’t do things which annoy her boyfriend and she must have deserved it. This was 30 years ago. It is my sincere hope that if any of our sons or daughters were to be in the same position today, they would receive a very different response.
It made me realise how far as a society we have come on the journey of tackling abuse. It made me grateful for all the men and women who have taken up the call in generations past to end abuse. The world is a better and safer place because of your efforts. I can see the difference you have made and I am inspired to help with the journey.
We can speak up when we see abusive behaviour at home or at work. We can offer help to those who are suffering and we can lead by example in our lives showing others how to deal with anger and stressful situations in a calmer way.