Kristy Masella, a proud Darumbal woman and mother of two teenage daughters and is a staunch ambassador of the Stop it at the Start Campaign. She joins host Natasha Ferre on Standing Strong Together to reveal why she is such a great supporter of the Federally funded campaign that is now in its third phase and aims to help reduce violence against women. Kristy Masella is a Murri from Rockhampton in Central Queensland who has dedicated her life to empowering Aboriginal communities and this campaign is close to her heart.
The Stop it at the Start campaign encourages adults to positively influence the attitudes and behaviours of young people aged 10-17 years by role modelling positive behaviour, calling out disrespect and starting conversations about respect.
Stop it at the Start aims to unite the community around positive actions everyone can take to break the cycle of disrespect and ultimately, violence against women.
Community influencers and campaign supporters Kristy Masella, Andy Saunders, Renee Thomson, and Sean Choolburra share a common message—even the simplest, smallest actions can make a big difference for young people and for our community.
Kristy says “When it comes to talking to my daughters about respect, I often draw on personal examples of things I’ve experienced or reflected on myself. I talk about the disrespectful behaviors that I accepted at times in my life or thought were normal. When I was younger I think I excused aggression in boys, I think I just accepted this belief that aggression for boys and men was in some ways just a normal and natural part of ‘boys being boys’. I also didn’t fully realise or reflect on the harm that can be caused by that culture around women being the possessions of men, of ‘belonging’ to a man. I’ve been very quick to have conversations with my girls to say ‘I’ve just realised I’ve been tolerating this’, or, ‘this has been part of my life and I’ve just become aware of it now, so make sure you look out for it and that you are aware of it.’ By doing this, my daughters will be able to identify disrespect a lot quicker and easier. Most women would have examples under their belt to talk about, including positive examples of respectful behaviours and attitudes towards women as well. I once witnessed a young woman speak up to two men who were whistling at women on the street as they passed by.
Kristy also adds that by having conversations with one another about respectful relationships is so important because if we don’t, we’re going to have generations of women to come experiencing and being affected by disrespect and the issues disrespect leads to, such as domestic violence and other forms of abuse. We need to speak up now so we can break the cycle of violence and disrespect.”
Even the smallest action can help stop the cycle of disrespect. As a community we want to help break the cycle of violence against women, which starts with disrespect towards girls. By speaking up about respect, we can make our communities better, stronger places for our future generations.
If You See Disrespect, Unmute Yourself. We All Have The Power To End Violence. Staying Silent Tells Our Kids Disrespect Is Okay. Let's Stop It At The Start. Prevent Disrespect. Start A Conversation.
Listener caution: the following podcast discusses disrespectful behaviours. Although our message encourages respectful behavioural changes amongst individuals, violence isn’t always physical. Support is available for people experiencing violence and abuse. For phone counselling, call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au