Sadly, in the past week, two women have been killed by men who they once fathered children with. It takes the Australian annual figure to 62. That is 62 mothers, daughters, sisters and friends who have suffered such violent crimes, we shudder in distress.
And while it’s great that we’re talking about violence against women, we’ve got to wonder, is the message reaching those who need to hear it most – Men and boys?
Which is why we’re so excited by Dear Men of Tomorrow – an initiative created by Andrew Sidwell, a husband and father who wants to educate young men on how to treat women and girls with love, respect and care.
The project is in response to Andrew’s own experience of witnessing hostile relationships, power plays and women living in the shadow of their dominating husbands. So Andrew is reaching out to women all around the world and asking them to finish the sentence – ‘Please don’t be the boyfriend who…’ from their personal experience. The sentences (that are already rolling in, with our favourites including ‘Please don’t be the boyfriend who says “Do you think you should eat that?” or “who says to his ambitious female friend or girlfriend, ‘You can’t do that’.”) will be compiled as a beautiful book and given to teenage boys by their fathers as they enter those formative adolescent years.
As more people, both men and women, begin to share their stories, Andrew hopes it will start a conversation between men and boys around topics that have previously gone unspoken. And ultimately, encourage each other to treat women with respect at all times.
Have you got a story or an important message to share? Dear Men of Tomorrow would love to hear from you.