As parents, and as influencers of young people, we want the best for kids. We want them to have positive experiences, healthy relationships and opportunities to learn. We want them to understand right and wrong. We want them to respect others, and respect themselves.

We do our best to set a good example, but sometimes, without meaning to, we might say things that excuse disrespectful behaviour in young people.

It’s important we understand the cycle of violence. Not all disrespect towards women results in violence. But all violence against women starts with disrespectful behaviour.

We can all help stop it at the start.

Excuse interpreter

From a young age, boys and girls start to believe there are reasons and situations that make disrespectful behavior acceptable. We might be surprised that saying things like “it’s ok, he just did it because he likes you” and “boys will be boys” excuses this behavior in the minds of young people. Yet it’s easy to make those excuses without even realising it.

Learn about common excuses

Conversation guide

You never know when a situation might come up for a conversation with young people about respect. It could be a proactive, preventative conversation, or it could be that you’ve seen an incident that needs addressing. It’s not always going to be easy, but it’s a conversation worth having. Every time we speak out against disrespectful behaviour, we’re one step closer to stopping the cycle of violence against women.

Start a conversation about respect