It wasn't long before Rob was asked to MC the local DV awareness walk in Maleny. "I agreed but with two requests" Rob said, "The first one was that my partner Robin Clayfield could co-facilitate with me and the second was that we could bring a positive message to this issue. Everyone involved agreed and so I hastily wrote up a few banners, gathered some men from our local men's group and away we went"
"When I thought of leading this march I remembered my own journey as husband and father and I just knew we had to bring a positive solutions based message that supports men and women to find their way out of the struggle, and so, 'Say Yes to Family Peace' was born. We have taken our message to several different places now and the response is always overwhelmingly positive. This has spurred Robin and I on to see how we can bring this positive message to the entire nation and the world".
Rob says "To Robin, myself and many others, aspects of the campaign against DFV feels like a judgement against the majority of men who are good, kind, gentle loving partners, fathers, sons, grandfathers, uncles and brothers. I can so relate to how difficult family life can be. I was married, self employed and raising five children, my wife Annie and I really struggled at times. To be honest, I did not have the skills or tools needed to create peace as the normal state in our home. For me, it is not hard to understand how some may 'lose it' to one degree or another. That is not to excuse abusive behavior in any way by anyone. Like Annie and I, most men and women only want their families to be peaceful, safe and happy and will do everything in their power to provide this in the most loving and nurturing way they know how... the question is... how?".
Rob added, "To be absolutely clear, we do not oppose 'Say No' at all, we know this is an important message too and so we walk proudly alongside. We are all of us in our own way saying yes to family peace in the best way we know how, absolutely no doubt about it."
Now the message feels much more balanced because we are also acknowledging those men and women who ARE doing the right thing by their partners and families. We are still in the majority you know", says Rob with a grin.
This year, 2016, Say Yes brought it's message to the DFV Prevention walk in a big, bright, colourful and positive way.