“It just doesn’t need to happen. There is no excuse or any reason under any circumstances.”
Paul De Szell has “zero tolerance” when it comes to violence against women.
The director of Community Spaces and Services from MidCoast Council is a supporter of today’s White Ribbon Day and has proudly taken the oath against men’s violence towards women (see the video on our website).
He said behaviour comes down to a person’s choice. “You can choose not to be violent, you can choose not to be aggressive – it’s up to you to make the choice.”
Mr De Szell is married with three children, the eldest two being daughters.
He is, understandably, concerned about what their future holds.
“They’re still very little and as my daughters get older I think about what might happen to them and will I even know about it?
“If I don’t know about it you can’t step in and intervene.”
Mr De Szell said he was “very proud” to take the White Ribbon Day oath.
“I think it’s very important...a real man is a man who stands up and takes the oath because then you are standing up for what is right and that is what counts.”
BELOW: Manning men take the White Ribbon Day oath
He also said it is important to look at who our role models are.
“All the people who are idolised in society are mostly idolised for their sporting and cultural work or overall popularity, but we don’t really know them or what goes on behind closed doors.
“They are more than what they do and what we think they are.”
When it comes down to it, he said it’s “really about actions speaking louder than words”.
“If the fist is the first thing that comes to mind – there is something wrong.
You don’t need any reason to behave that way at all.
“I have zero tolerance for any form of violence against women.”
In coming editions the Manning River Times will publish stories highlighting local men who have chosen to “stand up, speak out and act to prevent men’s violence against women”.