White Ribbon’s statement in response to the Women of Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia video
CEO of White Ribbon Australia, Libby Davies, said in response to the Women of Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia that violence in any relationship is unacceptable.
“This video is abhorrent, it is not in keeping with the fundamental right of every woman to live free from violence and abuse.”
“Respectful relationships regardless of culture are built on mutual respect and it is never okay to use violence in any relationship.”
“The use of violence is about power and control and positions women as objects and not as equals.”
“It is an abuse of their fundamental right to be treated with equality and respect. Most men recognise this and more are speaking out and acting to stop domestic and family violence across our diverse community.”
“It is up to all men, together with women, to stand up, speak out and act to build a society based on respect, fairness and equality”
The festive period often experiences a higher incidence of violence because of a number of interrelated factors. Remember to reinforce White Ribbon messaging, distribute referral postcards around the office and offer greater support during this period.
Below are steps to prevent sexual assault and sexual harassment at work Christmas parties, so everyone can enjoy a safe and respectful festive season.
As an employer it’s important to make sure that your expectations are clear. Most importantly, remind employees that your Code of Conduct and other related policies apply at out of hours functions.
Plan ahead, take precautions and be prepared for anything. Our message is not about taking the fun out of Christmas!
Here are some further tips*:
Remember you have a duty of care to your employees at any work related event.
Outline the start and finish times for the function and be sure to remind staff that the Code of Conduct applies at the Christmas party to confirm that misbehaviour won’t be tolerated. Sexual harassment rules apply at the party just as much as in the office.
Do not rely solely on a venue’s undertaking to adhere to responsible service of alcohol requirements.
Have strategies in place for monitoring employee behaviour at work functions, including what immediate action may be taken to respond to unsafe or unacceptable conduct (e.g. call a taxi and/or direct an employee to leave).
If someone is organising the giving of Secret Santa or Kris Kringle presents, remind staff that the gifts should not be offensive and should be appropriate. It’s a good idea to set a $ limit as a guide.
Remind staff of appropriate use of social media.
Don’t dismiss any post-party complaints or issues. Any complaint needs to be dealt with quickly and effectively in line with your company’s grievance procedure and other workplace policies.
Q1: What is primary prevention? Why is it important? Why doesn’t White Ribbon support women and children experiencing violence and abuse?
A: White Ribbon’s focus is primary prevention – stopping violence before it occurs, by challenging the deeply ingrained attitudes, social norms and power inequalities that give rise to men’s violence against women and gender inequality.
Primary prevention does not involve providing direct support to women and their children escaping violence and abuse. It aims to reduce the need for services by driving societal change for future generations. Primary prevention action works to change attitudes and behaviours that result in disrespect, abuse and violence against women. Prevention action aims to stop the likelihood of men and boys using violence against women and girls. Primary prevention addresses the root causes of violence.
Examples of White Ribbon Australia primary prevention initiatives include:
public information and awareness raising campaigns
educational programs in schools
training and e-learning courses
online resources and publications
programs in workplaces
government policy establishing frameworks and standards for preventing violence against women and promoting gender equality.
Through education, awareness raising and creative campaigns, preventative programs, partnerships and political advocacy, White Ribbon Australia highlights the positive role men can play to stop violence against women and enables them to be part of this social change.
Q2: What is the basis of the White Ribbon Social Movement?
A: The key to the White Ribbon Social Movement is the engagement of men in the prevention of violence against women. White Ribbon understands that men must be engaged to achieve the social change necessary to prevent men’s violence against women. The movement recognises that violence is a learned, gendered and institutionally supported behaviour. White Ribbon targets the sources of violence rather than accepting the world as it is.
Through education, awareness raising, creative campaigns, preventative programs and partnerships, we provide the tools for men to stop violence against women in their community and beyond.
Underpinning our work is the engagement of men. We provide a safe and inclusive platform for men to develop greater understanding of the abuse and disrespect of women that leads to gender inequality and violence against women. We encourage them to understand and discuss complex and sensitive issues.
Our male engagement strategy is evidence based and backed by academic and action based research and independent evaluation. It is specifically tailored to provide clear and powerful messaging to men to inspire change and appropriately equip them with strategies and tools for action. White Ribbon works to embed these in the fabric of community and is community driven and supported, to enable change to occur from grassroots through to leadership levels of society.
Q3: What about violence against men?
A: White Ribbon believes that all forms of violence are unacceptable and acknowledges that men and women can be victims. We also acknowledge that the majority of domestic violence victims are women. We understand there are organisations working to prevent violence against men and we commend any prevention work they do.
To be successful, campaigns must have a central focus, because different kinds of violence have different causes and effects. Most charities have their areas of focus, for example Pink Ribbon focuses on breast cancer and Movember focuses on male health. It is important for charities to maintain focus to ensure positive social impact and cost efficiency.
White Ribbon focuses on men’s violence against women. We support organisations working to end other types of violence. Hopefully the work done between us will see the elimination of all forms of violence in the generations to come.
Q4: Is White Ribbon Australia a feminist organisation?
A: White Ribbon Australia is part of the feminist movement. We work to achieve gender equality, reframe masculinity, combat patriarchy, and foster social justice. We engage in activism and media advocacy to change social norms, influence institutional structures, corporate sectors, and impact public policy. White Ribbon Australia has interpreted a feminist approach through a health promotion model.
Q5: How much money does White Ribbon get from the government?
A: We receive 10% of our funding from a mix of local, state and federal governments. The vast majority of this funding goes towards our diversity program which enables us to reach out to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and multicultural communities to address domestic violence.
White Ribbon Australia is 90% funded by the community. We rely on donations from the community to drive social change and challenge the attitudes and behaviours that can lead to men’s violence against women. Community generosity helps develop and extend our prevention work. It includes programs in schools, workplaces and the broader community along with initiatives to engage men, advocacy, marketing and communication, community support and training.
Q6: Do you take funding away from tertiary services?
A: White Ribbon’s focus is on primary prevention. We do not take funding away from tertiary services. We connect with and support tertiary services through advocacy and fundraising. Many White Ribbon Australia community events donate a portion of the proceeds raised from their events to their local tertiary services such as women’s shelters. A recent example is the White Ribbon Riders raising $80,000 for women’s services in the Blacktown area in Sydney.
In our advocacy work, we have consistently called for reinstated and increased funding for essential tertiary services.
We are not the beneficiaries of recent changes to government funding of tertiary services. We deliberately avoid reliance on government funding, so that critical funds can be directed towards tertiary services and the support of women and children across Australia.
Q7: Does White Ribbon collaborate with the prevention sector and tertiary service providers?
A: White Ribbon Australia is part of a global movement to end men’s violence against women and engages with prevention sector and tertiary service providers. We collaborate with them to demand gender equality and the right of every woman to live in safety, free from the abuse of men in all its forms.
We work individually and collectively with other organisations to advocate for effective violence prevention laws and services, to change violence supportive attitudes and behaviours, and to champion the role of men as an integral part of the effort to end men’s abuse of women.
As stated in the White Ribbon Australia Strategic Framework, the Campaign will continue to work in partnership with the key national gender equality and violence prevention agencies, to deliver effective joint campaigns needed for system change. We actively refer onto service providers, and promote their work across social media, marketing and our prevention program platforms.
Men’s violence against women requires a holistic, whole of community response. We collaborate with external organisations to ensure the work of the Campaign aligns with the wider effort to prevent and respond to violence against women.
Q8: How does White Ribbon define itself as a community organisation? Why isn’t it more ‘grassroots’?
A: White Ribbon is a grassroots social movement which is owned and driven by the community. We have a high profile and people recognise the symbol of the white ribbon. However, we are a team of 31 people in a single Sydney-based office. We appear bigger because of the community support for our message and programs.
In November 2016, over 700 events took place across Australia to raise awareness, fundraise, and enhance conversation about preventing men’s violence against women. We do not organise these events. Our small team offers support to event hosts through provision of White Ribbon Australia materials such as factsheets, posters, brochures and merchandise.
White Ribbon Australia works at grassroots level engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities as well as multicultural communities. By organising forums, facilitated workshops and training, we encourage them to spread the White Ribbon message in their communities: that violence against women and children is not acceptable.
There are also more than 40 White Ribbon Committees around Australia. These committees are made up of passionate Ambassadors, Advocates and champions who volunteer their time and expertise to make a difference. These committees coordinate the White Ribbon social movement within their local communities.
Q9: Does White Ribbon spend money on extravagant things like white ribbons on jets, corporate lunches and helicopters?
A: White Ribbon Australia has a strong values base that includes courage, honesty and integrity. The use of funds is in accordance with our strategic framework and as approved through ethical and best practice governance. The white ribbons that you may see painted on jets and helicopters are created and funded by our supporters in the RAAF to show their support for the White Ribbon Social Movement. We do not provide funding for these initiatives.
We also do not host corporate lunches. Our partners and supporters may host White Ribbon breakfasts, lunches or dinners, so they can educate their networks about the importance of the movement, engage their communities and spheres of influence to take action, and help raise funds for our primary prevention programs. The White Ribbon Australia CEO and other representatives of the organization are often invited to speak at these events.
Q10: What is the process for becoming an Ambassador?
A: Ambassadors go through a rigorous application process involving:
completion of the White Ribbon Australia Ambassador ‘expression of interest’ form
completion of online training ‘First Steps: key knowledge and skills for White Ribbon Ambassadors’
a telephone interview with White Ribbon Australia and
The Ambassador Program was reviewed in 2014. Consultations with key stakeholders were undertaken through a series of roundtables. The new strategy in place reflects the outcomes of this extensive review and consultation. All men who became Ambassadors before 2013 have been asked to recommit to the Campaign by undertaking the above steps. This extensive re-committal process is almost complete. We have spoken with over 1000 men during this process. We are also simultaneously processing new Ambassador applications.
Installation on Parliament Lawn Canberra remembering victims of Domestic Violence
This year, as part of the annual White Ribbon Parliamentary Breakfast, a silhouette display will be installed on the front lawn of Parliament House recognising those who have lost their lives as a result of domestic violence.
On average, one woman is killed every week as a result of intimate partner violence. Each victim will be symbolised by a black female corflute silhouette as a representation of these devastating statistics in Australia.
The display will be visible from Parliament House lawn from 7am, with the Annual Parliamentary Breakfast taking place from 7:30am on Wednesday 23rd November.
At the breakfast the Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon. Malcolm Turnball MP, will be joined by the Leader of Opposition, the Hon. Mr Bill Shorten MP, the Leader of the Greens, Senator Richard Di Natale, CEO of White Ribbon Australia, Libby Davies and Canada based Co-founder of the White Ribbon Campaign, Dr Michael Kaufman as they come together to further their commitment to end men and boy’s violence against women and girls.
Despite these tragic figures, White Ribbon is dedicated to ensuring men are a part of the solution to prevent men’s abuse of women.
White Ribbon engage men to stand up, speak out and act to influence the actions of those men that perpetrate violence and disrespect, demand change and drive gender equality.
White Ribbon Day is a national day for the prevention of violence against women occurring on
25 November. This year, White Ribbon Australia is asking men to stand up, speak out and act for the women in their lives, as violence against women is a man’s issue too.
One in three women have experienced physical and/or sexual abuse perpetrated by someone known to them, and on average, one woman is killed every week in Australia as a result of domestic violence.
This White Ribbon Day, we ask communities across Australia to stand up, speak out, and act to prevent violence against women.
Who will you take the oath for this White Ribbon Day on 25 November?
Join the 1,000’s of men who have taken the oath for the women in their lives on our brand new White Ribbon Day page at www.whiteribbon.org.au/day. See who is taking the oath for their boss, their neighbour, the lady they sit next to on the bus or their colleague.
In the A Man’s Issue Too Campaign video, White Ribbon Ambassadors identify why they are taking the White Ribbon Oath. This is accessible at www.whiteribbon.org.au/day.
The media also play a vital role in helping to raise awareness of violence against women. White Ribbon invites journalists to play a part by featuring stories that focus attention on this issue.
White Ribbon is also encouraging media to wear a white ribbon on and around White Ribbon Day, November 25. If you, or members of your team, wish to wear a White Ribbon or would like to arrange an interview of someone with a personal story of violence or a White Ribbon Ambassador, then please contact Sally Burleigh at SBPR (details below). We ask that you make contact as soon as possible due to the number of enquiries at this time. A full list of White Ribbon Ambassadors available for interview can be provided.