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STOP – doing nothing is NOT an option

White Ribbon Day 2017 is just over a fortnight away and White Ribbon are calling on all Australian men to take a stand against disrespectful behaviour and all acts of violence against women.

STOP is the theme of this year’s White Ribbon Day on 25 November which includes a “tool kit” to help men safely intervene when they witness disrespect, abuse or violence against women.

A practical guide to help people learn how to actively make a difference in their community, the STOP Kit includes information on how to spot the signs, offer support and create change to prevent violence.

The STOP kit is being championed by the nation’s Police Commissioners, Federal politicians (at a White Ribbon Day breakfast in Canberra) and high-profile White Ribbon ambassadors, including musician Reece Mastin.

STOP stands for:

  • See (Your actions are important in helping to stop violence against women)
  • Talk (Words are part of disrespectful and abusive behaviour but words can also help stop abuse and prevent violence against women)
  • Offer support (Intervening doesn’t mean putting yourself in danger)
  • Prevent (Think about what you can do every day to promote respect towards women, educate yourself and learn the signs of disrespect and abusive behaviour and don’t be afraid to talk about it with friends)

White Ribbon Day activities begun today with leading Australian businessmen, sport stars and musicians pledging their commitment as White Ribbon Ambassadors and lending their voice to a television commercial which urges men to play an active role in preventing violence against women.

Sydney Kings basketball star Jeromie Hill, comedian and author Marty Wilson, along with the General Manager of the Rugby League Players Association, Clint Newton, are among those who are featured in the ad campaign and have taken the pledge to act on behalf of their mothers, daughters, sisters and all women.

Clint Newton said when he was younger he struggled to deal with seeing his female friends impacted by domestic violence and abuse. He admits that calling out men and boys he came into contact with who didn’t respect women and girls was challenging, took courage and some friendships ended as a result.

If he could give his younger self some advice, Clint would say; “don’t wait for anyone to tell you you’re ready, that day may never come. Speak up, even if your voice shakes. Women and girls of the past, present and future are relying on you. Do it now.”

Research shows that people are more likely to take action if the woman being assaulted was a known person (98%) rather than a stranger (92%).1

“White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for Australian men to pledge their determination to act in all instances where disrespect and violence against women occurs. It is critical that all men understand that they are individually responsible for starting important conversations and act to raise awareness with their peers, as these are conversations which could be lifesaving,” said White Ribbon CEO, Libby Davies.

On average, one woman is killed every week in Australia by domestic violence.

“This statistic is horrifying and we have to work together to challenge attitudes and behaviours to prevent all violence against women.”

Now in its 27th year, White Ribbon Day is the most well-known bystander campaign to prevent men’s disrespectful behaviour and all violence against women in Australia. Clint Newton encourages all men to take action with him.

“Don’t stand by and do nothing, nothing is not an option. Take the oath, talk to your mates, be an active bystander, and participate in an event. Your future self and many others are counting on you.”

Funds raised at events across Australia go towards supporting White Ribbon’s national primary prevention initiative, which aims to stop violence before it occurs, through education programs in schools, workplaces and the broader community.

White Ribbon is a non-government grassroots social movement which is committed to building a community where every woman lives in safety, free from all forms of men’s abuse. The national organisation relies on individual and corporate donations to fund social change programs.

Support White Ribbon by making a donation: www.whiteribbon.org.au/donate

Learn more about White Ribbon Day: www.whiteribbon.org.au/day

1 VicHealth, 2014, Findings from the 2013 National Community Attitudes towards Violence Against Women Survey (NCAS).

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