The White Ribbon Campaign is traditionally tackling male violence against women and this is an issue the youth cabinet are passionate to help tackle.  However, we also feel female violence against men, men against men, women against women, any gender against any gender in any kind of relationship, should be tackled just as much. Sadly, Christmas seems to be a time of year when domestic violence peaks due to a matter of factors including alcohol, stress, work, finance and families being together.  We also believe there is a significant issue with this with people our age due to jealously in relationships and social media. We believe that relationships often start well, but emotional, mental, social and physical abuse can gradually develop without the victim noticing. Young people are under pressure to be in a relationship and consequentially stay in an abusive relationship.

We believe that male victims do not speak about it as much and do not like being seen as weak or victims.  The words and the actions often don’t match in these relationships and people are often scared to leave the person they trust most.  Cabinet members discussed how difficult challenges in life often mean you take out the emotions on your sole mate or the one person they trust the most.

We believe victims should get someone neutral in to speak to and mediate the issue,  the biggest step is to recognise it is an issue and then think about which help to get. 1 in 4 young people either witness or experience domestic violence, so to them it may feel normal and they may not feel there is anything wrong with it.  We also think more support is needed for the person being violent as there may be an underlying issue igniting the violence. This subject is a very sensitive issue which too many people are experiencing and it needs to be spoken about more. Healthy relationship education, focusing on the root causes, help available and how to prevent this may help some people,  but we also think that the cultural issues and attachments issues need to be looked at, not just the signs and blaming the victim for falling for it.

We think that more discipline is needed to help tackle this, a restraining order is just a piece of paper to some people and we think more should be done to prevent and stop this happening. A domestic abuse registry is helpful to many people and may stop it happening, but more people need to be made aware of this as we don’t think people would even think of checking this when they start to trust and love someone. People can be scarred for life and struggle to trust others aterwards. Better rehabilitation is also needed, more than harsher discipline. 

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