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Jobs a growing frontline in the work to end violence against women

15 July 2016: A state government has committed to working to end violence against women, with a suite of 11 South Australian departments gaining accreditation as White Ribbon Workplaces today.

Over 18 months, 20 workplaces nationally, including South Australia’s Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Attorney General’s Department, Department of Correctional Services and SA Police, took part in the rigorous, internationally recognised program, which now has reached almost half a million Australian adults through their jobs.

As part of the accreditation process, organisations are required to make a number of changes, including the provision of leave to staff experiencing violence, codes of conduct, support services and staff training.

The new complement of White Ribbon Workplaces brings the total number of Australian employers that have attained accreditation to 65, including those in the traditionally male industries of stevedoring, mining and construction. Organisations already accredited include Telstra and the Australian Army.

Victorian, Northern Territory, Queensland and ACT government agencies have also successfully completed the program, together with BaptistCare in NSW and the ACT, Australian Hearing Services, Southern Cross Care Victoria, Australian Civil-Military Centre, and the KWY 147 Aboriginal Consultancy.

Real change can come about through addressing domestic violence via workplaces. Around 1.4 million Australian women are or have been in an abusive relationship, with about 800,000 of them currently in the paid workforce.

“Most organisations employ perpetrators and victims of domestic violence at one time or another. These White Ribbon Workplaces are walking the talk of violence prevention,” said Libby Davies, CEO of White Ribbon Australia.

“Disclosing an experience of violence to supervisors can be traumatic for victims and an unhelpful response significantly reduces the likelihood a person will disclose again. It can also be a stressful time for bosses receiving the news. Training is critical to safely intervening, whether it be by calling out staff who are displaying disrespectful behaviours or recognising the signs of abuse and getting help for staff.”

The full list of newly accredited White Ribbon Workplaces: South Australian Government’s Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Attorney General’s Department, Department of Correctional Services, Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Department for Education and Child Development, Department of Health and Ageing, Department of State Development, Department of Treasury and Finance, Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, Department of Primary Industries and Regions, and SA Police. BaptistCare in NSW and the ACT, the ACT Government’s Community Services Directorate, the Northern Territory’s Department of Local Government and Community Services, the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, Australian Hearing Services, Southern Cross Care Victoria, the Victoria Government’s Department of Justice and Regulation, KWY 147 Aboriginal Consultancy and Australian Civil-Military Centre.
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White Ribbon is the world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end men’s violence against women and girls, promote gender equality, healthy relationships and a new vision of masculinity. The White Ribbon in Australia is a recognised symbol of zero tolerance to violence against women.

 

For media interviews contact Sally Burleigh: Sally@sbpr.com.au and 0419 516 889

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