I am a father and I’m not ashamed or scared to express my love for my daughter!
I spent seven years volunteering with Barnardos here in Canberra and I spent many years understanding and studying psychology behind why people do things.
One thing I know out of all this, is that sexual violence and intimidation is not only a cultural thing but it is something that is in most cases factor of the environment in which we grew up in, the environment in which we felt comfortable in the environment in which the foundations were set.
To transform our culture I believe we need to start at the grassroots and that for me is the family unit. It is within this family unit and the people associated with it that set the foundations for the children that will eventually have complete control over their own destiny.
Make a positive change today and help transform our culture by educating our children that sexual violence, intimidation and domestic violence is not okay!
It is not the victims fault as they didn’t choose to be a victim, so let’s change the culture away from victim blaming and put a spotlight where it belongs, back onto the perpetrators.
Males or females it doesn’t matter. This is a problem for us, all of us!
It is up to us to change the culture around sexual violence and to make sure that people know it is not okay!
Too much emphasis on communication around some of these events is put onto the victim and I feel that this is totally inappropriate. Victims are victims, by the very nature of being a victim you are not responsible or should be blamed for the actions of others are caused you to be a victim.
Some of these perpetrators walked this planet with a delusional understanding that they are better than everyone because they can go along and intimidate and control others through physical and emotional abuse.
These people have issues, serious issues that need to be addressed and recognised before they create a victim.
Red is the colour of passion, passion that I believe is within all of us. The walls and halls of the home should not be splattered in red.
The men and women subjected to sexual violence and domestic violence should not see the colour red and less the intent is love.
Far too many homes around Australia subject to the never-ending cycle of sexual and domestic abuse. This cycle continues through generations and one that I am all too familiar with.
When a child sees a parent either subjecting someone to sexual or domestic violence that sends a very strong message to that child that that behaviour is accepted. It doesn’t matter if they are male or female, the message is the same.
Studies have shown that children in this environment will either be a perpetrator or a victim of this never-ending cycle. It is up to us to go along and break this cycle!!
As a community and a culture we need to send a very clear message that this behaviour is not okay while also understanding the history and the reasons behind this type of behaviour.
It is not something that has been generated overnight but something that has been learned over a lifetime.
No matter the history this behaviour is not okay and if you are a victim or a perpetrator there is help out there.
If you know someone in this situation as I’m sure many of you do, be there for them. Help them through this, and make sure they know there is help out there.
As a portrait photographer and someone that photographs a lot of models I see a different side of people one that many don’t see in one of those sides is the external facing side. One we all have and is very obvious to everyone.
What I mean by this is how we look to other people and how others perceive us by the way we look. This to some can mean many things and can stir up many emotions both good and bad. Personal parents and how someone represents themselves is ultimately their choice, they have the right to go along and wear whatever they feel is right for them. They have the right and the choice to go along and change their external facing side to match their internal facing side.
Women don’t wear lipstick for other people, they were lipstick for them it makes them feel good, and if it makes them feel good then they should do it.
How they dress and how they represent their external side does not mean they open to sexual violence, and it certainly doesn’t mean that anyone should think, do, or otherwise anything to them without them explicitly agreeing.
Violence is never the answer! Although us men are not the sole perpetrators of sexual violence and abuse we do have a moral responsibility to not only ensure the safety of those around us but also to educate and remove any thought that this type of behaviour is okay in our society.
I know there are men out there that actually think that sexual violence, intimidation and mental abuse is okay. My message to them is that it is not okay and there is no place in this or any other culture for those thoughts or behaviours.
Men that act and behave in this way are missing something the lives, they missing thought process that allows them to feel like men without the need to intimidate or show their authority over someone else. They need help. Serious help!!
The feeling of power that this gives them is only short lived and continuous and without positive change within those men and from the people around them it will continue.
While this campaign involves a lot of women I believe that it is the men that need to take charge of this. It is the men that need to stand up and say no it is not okay and is the real men that need to show leadership and courage to stand up and educate the males which think they are men!
Victims are not fools! They are victims! They victims because someone else decided to make them a victim they themselves did not choose that, so why is it that we blame them and shame them because of it?
Victims of sexual violence have a right to be protected and have a right to be heard! They should not be looked down as criminals or people that are responsible for the actions of others.
That stop shifting the blame and put it back where it belongs and that my friends is not on the victims!
Speaking out against sexual violence and victim blaming is something we can all do!
It’s not only up to the people that are directly affected by sexual violence to speak out, it’s up to all of us as community to take a stance and speak out.
Sexual violence in our community touches more lives and affects more people than you can imagine, and to shift the blame onto the victim creates a culture of secrecy. Victims don’t want stand up and be heard for the fear they will be ridiculed and be told it’s their fault.
I’m not sure about you but I can’t see how victim is at fault, but hey!!
Sexual violence in our culture exist for many reasons, but one thing is for sure that it is not and never will be the victims fault!!!
People have the right to wear whatever the hell they like, and just because they choose to wear something which some person finds provocative does not give that person the right to force sexual violence on another.
We are not animals, who have control over our actions and we are held accountable for those. Shifting the blame to someone else because of our actions is just plain wrong.
Red My Lips (http://redmylips.org/) is about awareness, and about educating and changing culture and putting the responsibility back onto the people which deserve it….. and that my friends is the people that perform these acts on others. The spineless people seek pleasure and power by controlling others.
Please share this image to create awareness and change culture.
The month of April is about raising awareness that sexual violence and victim-blaming is NOT OK!!!!
To do that RedMyLips.org run a month long campaign where you are encourage to wear red lipstick and throw a couple of bucks their way. When I found out about this I put the call out to my friends to see if anyone would be involved in a photo shoot where they get to wear red lippy and show the world they stand together against sexual violence and victim-blaming.
This in itself raised awareness and I amassed a small army of people ready to get their photos taken… To all of which I am very grateful for not only their time but their commitment in supporting such a cause as short notice.
This is the first of these images….. So sit back and watch them over the course of the rest of April…
I have dedicated my photography career in the pursuit of capturing the very essence of what I am photographing so as to bring the “forever memories” back to life. Through this, I now have the ability to share my years of experience with you through my on-line courses.
“Yes, I was very pleased with the photos. I was hoping for a nice family picture but ended up with so much more...I love the story behind the photos (like the fake laugh!), hence me ordering a number of the candid ones. My mum is visiting at the moment and she picked a few for herself too which is great."
Alanna GregoryBredbo NSW
"BTW thanks very much for the special gift, kids love those photos!!! And will find a use for the voucher if I can."
"Fantastic Brendan, I'm very much looking forward to receiving them!"
"So many people have said how amazing you were on Saturday and that you are such an amazing person :)"
"They look amazing! Thank you I'm very happy with my final photos."
"Hey Brendan, thanks for the photos - they're fantastic. I gave Jenny (the girl in the photos) her copies and she was very happy. Thank you very much!"
"I've been dancing since I was three years old. For me, dancing is how I express the depths of who I am, each fluid movement allowing me to tell a story about an emotion, a time or a person.
What I loved about Brendan was his ability to capture that expression, story, and reveals more about me that a simple happy snap."
Sarah KateDance Instructor
"We loved the passion and artistic angles Brendan Maunder put into our photos from the National capital championships, the service Brendan provided was 10/10 and the comments we got on the photos after we posted them on our fan page was overwhelming"
Andrew Buswell and Kelsey PincerInternational Dance Instructors and Winners
"Brendan I just saw a few of the wedding photographs they are just beautiful. The ones you captured of the moment I realised the music playing was from our wedding day are so special I cried seeing them a beautiful moment captured by you. I cannot thank you enough and look forward to seeing them all later this week when I sit down with Jodi and Jamie. Thank you x"
Ali RaybouldMother Of The Bride
"Thank you again so much for all the did on the day, having you there made it so much more personal "
"Lookin great, mate! I can't wait to see what you got yesterday. Also, we all really enjoyed your company; and I'd like to extend a permanent invitation to you to remain as our series photographer from now on "