Prevent men’s violence against women

Archive for October, 2018

Tasmanian Department of State Growth sets new record for ‘Outstanding Achievement’ in Workplace Accreditation Program

Early in October, the Tasmanian Department of State Growth successfully achieved White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation status. An enormous achievement in itself, after completing the rigorous 18-month program demonstrating a strong stance in response to men’s violence against women.

Not only have they received accreditation status, but received 8 ‘outstanding achievements’ against their assessment criteria. A new record for the Workplace Accreditation Program since its inception in 2012. 

Through their assessment, it was clear that Tasmanian State Growth is strongly committed to creating an inclusive workplace that embraces the values of equality and respect. They were also rated as ‘outstanding’ regarding their internal communications, engagement, policy development, manager training, risk assessment, support for victims and approach to continuous improvement.

Their accreditation not only demonstrates what they stand for as an organisation but allows them to encourage other industries to take the same stand.

Check out the Tasmanian State Services Heads of Agency video, showcasing their ongoing commitment to preventing men’s violence against women, in the workplace and beyond.

Tasmanian State Services Heads of Agency Video | White Ribbon Australia

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White Ribbon Australia’s Board affirms support for reproductive rights

At its meeting today the Board of White Ribbon Australia affirmed its position statement in support of women’s reproductive rights as issued on 23 February 2017.

This statement was never open for debate or consultation and should not have been withdrawn from our website.  We very much regret any confusion or distress that has been caused by recent communications on this issue.

The rights of women to live safely and free of violence, and to have control of their reproductive and sexual health, are both fundamental human rights.  Addressing reproductive coercion is a key part of our efforts to eliminate violence against women.

White Ribbon Australia looks forward to continuing its critical work in partnership with a range of organisations in ending violence against women.

 

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White Ribbon Australia maintains the current position on women’s reproductive rights

White Ribbon Australia maintains the current position on women’s reproductive rights.

White Ribbon Australia CEO, Tracy McLeod Howe said it is important that women feel safe, their rights are protected and they are equal in all facets of society.

“We have and always will be about ensuring women are safe and free from all forms of violence. Our position on reproductive rights was positioned within that context.” Ms McLeod Howe said.

White Ribbon Australia will undergo an immediate and comprehensive consultation process with our stakeholders. Following this, White Ribbon will communicate the outcome of the consultation.

Whilst the intention had been to remedy the process under the original statement of support, this has been viewed as a change in stance around reproductive rights.

We apologise for the confusion and we look forward to working with our stakeholders on this important issue.

For anyone needing support please phone 1800RESPECT for sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling – 1800 737 732

For urgent support call Lifeline 13 11 14

If you are in danger, please call the Police – 000

This policy statement represents the organisational position of White Ribbon Australia. It does not represent the individual opinions and views of our stakeholders, including, but not limited to, our Ambassadors, Advocates, Partners and staff members.

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White Ribbon Australia Chair Nicholas Cowdery AM QC resigns

White Ribbon Australia’s Board confirms that Nicholas Cowdery AM QC has resigned as Director, Chair of the Board and White Ribbon Ambassador effective immediately.

He has taken this action in order to deflect adverse attention away from White Ribbon Australia which was attracted by reason of a comment he made in his capacity as former DPP for NSW in a program aired by ABC TV.

Mr Cowdery regrets the burden placed on White Ribbon Australia staff by these events. He is keen to support White Ribbon Australia and wishes it well in its future endeavours.

The Board would like to thank Mr Cowdery for his dedicated leadership and advocacy of the organisation’s objectives over the past two and a half years.

White Ribbon Director, Ian Carter AM, will assume the role of Acting Chair until such time as the Board has the opportunity to formally appoint a Chair. Mr Carter is the CEO of Anglicare WA, and recognised for his significant leadership roles and expertise at a local, national and international level in social services, justice and community building.

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We are all accountable for the language we use, and the impact it has

White Ribbon Australia’s Chair, Nicholas Cowdery AM QC, acknowledges that his comments and response to questions about Keli Lane on ABC documentary Exposed were not respectful, and he apologises.

Mr Cowdery supports the need for every person to be mindful of the language that they use and the meaning it can have.

Mr Cowdery agrees that in the instance of the ABC documentary he did not express himself well, and that he is accountable for his actions.

White Ribbon Australia supports the concerted effort that is needed to consciously change societies’ use of respectful language to promote equality, respect and inclusion of women everywhere.

 

This policy statement represents the organisational position of White Ribbon Australia and White Ribbon Australia’s Chair, Nicholas Cowdery AM QC. It does not represent the individual opinions and views of our stakeholders, including, but not limited to, our Ambassadors, Advocates, Partners and staff members.

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National sporting codes have a key role to play in ending violence against women

The expected spike in women seeking help for domestic violence and abuse around grand final weekend is a wake up call for Australia’s national sporting codes. “The 1800 Respect hotline’s confirmation of a 10% increase in calls over the Grand Final weekend only confirms what was expected, and sadly indicates that violence against women isn’t reducing,” said Delia Donovan, acting CEO of White Ribbon Australia.

“A lot more needs to be done to connect the dots and achieve a whole of population approach to ending violence against women and we need the whole community behind this issue,” Ms Donovan said.

We are already seeing many of the major sporting codes taking steps to accept responsibility, and to proactively engage their community in change.”

“We hope to see a reverse of this trend in the near future, following commitment to a whole of community approach to end violence against women.”

Junior clubs, grassroots clubs through to the elite sports levels can role model acceptable behaviour and attitudes by men to women, and they can be active participants in calling out and acting on unacceptable behaviour.

“White Ribbon Australia are focused on supporting national sports organisations to take responsibility for their role in addressing the increasing levels of violence against women in Australia.”

“The acceptance of toxic masculine culture, and tolerance of disrespectful and abusive physical, emotional and psychological behaviours towards women needs accountability,” said Ms Donovan.

“White Ribbon support professional sporting organisations to actively reduce environmental triggers to men’s violence against women. There are practical actions which we can take, behaviours we can change, and support we can provide to reduce all forms of violence towards women and children on our community,” said Ms Donovan.

White Ribbon encourages everyone to get involved in their community (workplace, school, community group) to prevent all forms of violence against women.

Learn more about what you can do here: https://www.whiteribbon.org.au/

 

This policy statement represents the organisational position of White Ribbon Australia. It does not represent the individual opinions and views of our stakeholders, including, but not limited to, our Ambassadors, Advocates, Partners and staff members.

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Murder of women in their homes MUST STOP – too many lives lost

It is devastating to learn of yet another woman being murdered in her own home in NSW today. One Australian woman in six (17% or 1.6 million) has experienced an episode of stalking[1], and this behaviour often escalates into more serious violence.

“We can’t comment on this case, but we’re sick of women dying in their own homes at the hands of men who are known to them,” said Liam Dooley, Executive Manager of Community Program.

“We are seeing key changes in the attitudes of more and more men across Australia. They are exasperated, and are standing up and speaking out alongside women, at the litany of abuse and violence women endure.

“Our heart goes out to the family and friends affected by Kristie Powell’s death, and to her little baby who will now grow up without his mum.

“This year we have lost far too many women and children at the hands of violent men who were known to the victims. This is utterly unacceptable and inexcusable.”

Men’s violence against women accounts for one woman’s death per week[2]. With violence against women accounting for 49 women’s deaths in 2018[3]. Women are more likely than men to be killed by an intimate partner (2012-2014 − 79% or 99 of a total of 126 people killed by an intimate partner were women).[4]

Men’s violence against women and children is absolutely abhorrent and we must act together as a community to end all forms of violence and abuse in our community.

We must stand up, speak out and act to end all forms of violence against women and children.

Ends

For anyone needing support please phone 1800RESPECT for sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling – 1800 737 732

For urgent support call Lifeline 13 11 14

If you are in danger, please call the Police – 000

[1] (any unwanted contact or attention on more than one occasion, or multiple types of unwanted contact or behaviour experienced on one occasion, that could have caused fear or distress).

[2] ANROWS Violence Against Women Accurate Use of key statistics 2018

[3] Destroy the Joint

[4] ANROWS Violence Against Women Accurate Use of key statistics 2018

This policy statement represents the organisational position of White Ribbon Australia. It does not represent the individual opinions and views of our stakeholders, including, but not limited to, our Ambassadors, Advocates, Partners and staff members.

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Sport could be the answer to preventing violence against women

Gender Equality and Sport Culture in Australia

I have labelled myself as a feminist for the past decade. I am now twenty and my thoughts and views on the issue have not changed, in fact they have continued to expand and develop. I’d like to highlight the importance of sport in this current climate- in shaping community values, behaviour and attitudes towards gender equality.

There is a strong connection between the prevention of violence against women and gender equality particularly within fostering respectful relationships and employing inclusive, safe environments for women. The 1993 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women Article 3 states, “women are entitled to the equal enjoyment and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field”. In order to properly exercise these rights, it is crucial to have conversations with young men about the importance of respecting women.

I want to emphasise whilst men are also subjected to violence, it is not to the same degree as women. Violence against women is a widespread problem and men have the power to change that. You see, violence against women is not just a woman’s issue, it is a man’s one too. It is a woman’s prerogative to live in a society that is inclusive and anti-discriminative of gender, an environment in which violence against women does not exist.

Toxic Masculinity

Toxic masculinity; the patriarchal structure surrounding young men to behave in certain ways and gain acceptance into the infamous “boy club”. This is a normality in many different sport clubs across Australia. It is important to redefine what it means to be “masculine”, and that begins with a conversation on self-respect.

I recently watched a TED Talk called ‘”Locker room talk.” Says who?’ given by activist and motivational speaker Alexis Jones. Firstly, Jones spoke about the increasing need for participation from men since “the majority of these young men have never been invited to sit at our table”. This is a crucial first step in engaging young men and broadening their perception of masculinity- inside sport clubs is a prime place to begin.

Alexis raised three main points:

  • imbue these men with self-respect,
  • broaden a definition of confidence,
  • and work with them.

Hence, educating young men within the sport environment is an effective approach to preventing violence against women and strengthening gender equality.

Primary Prevention

With one in three women having experienced physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by someone known to them, we need to make primary prevention a priority. I truly believe that sport has the power to inspire young men and redefine the concept of masculinity to further prevent violence against women.

Since sport is so influential, elite athletes also have a significant role in being able to speak up and take action and positively inspire young men and women. With women’s sport getting more attention, it is great to see leaders, both male and female, act efficiently and address the issue that is violence against women.

By educating young men, transforming attitudes, creating inclusive environments and speaking out against violence of women in sport environments around Australia, we can as a society improve the lives of women and children.

As Jones says, “men are not simply the problem when it comes to violence against women, they’re also the cure”.

Author Indianna Dimmer is a White Ribbon Australia Sports Program intern.

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