Everyone has the right to be who they want to be. A lot of people don’t respect each other just because they’re different. I’m really passionate equality and I try to help others through a program I help run a program called Sexual Lives and Respectful Relationships (SL&RR) for women and men. This program started out in Gippsland and I just got back from presenting at a conference on the program in Hawaii, we’ve come a long way.
I work with people who have disabilities, inequality is a big problem for us. A lot of people trust me in the program and tell me stories of what they’ve experienced, it’s been hard for them. Sometimes I think people treat people with a disability like little kids, but we’re our own people. A lot of people with disabilities experience sexual assault or violence in relationships. Everyone can help by talking more openly about this issue and connecting people with the right services. It makes me feel sick to think of the number of people with a disability who experience violence from people who are supposed to care for them and help keep them safe. This is especially important for women who already experience gender inequality and then are also living with a disability.
I started working with the SL&RR program in Morwell and I was asked to be one of the first peer facilitators. We talk about same sex relationships, being safe in relationships and how people with a disability can speak up for themselves. I’m still working out who I am but the program helps us figure that out and to communicate that. I’m so passionate about gender equality, and equality for everyone. No matter who people are, they should feel safe and happy to be themselves.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.
Thank you to our guest bloggers and community advocates for taking part in our Gender Equality Matters 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence campaign.