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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.

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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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Statement: The cold case of Lyn Dawson

Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Lynette Dawson.

We believe there should be justice for Lynette, her family and friends. Not knowing what happened to her 36 years ago and the circumstances leading to her disappearance must be extremely difficult for her family to comprehend, and we support all efforts to resolve this.

As a global social movement, we aim to eliminate all forms of men’s violence against women and children and locally, focus on creating an Australian society where all women can live safety, free from violence and abuse.

Whilst we can’t comment on the case and judgements made previously by the DPP and the police, we do hope that justice can be served and those who are responsible are held to account.

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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 Day 2018 is moving to 23 November

From 2018 onwards, White Ribbon Day will move from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to the Friday before 25 November. 

This year, White Ribbon Day will be on Friday 23 November. 

White Ribbon Day will continue to be a time for the community to come together and stand up, speak out and act to end men’s violence against women and children.

White Ribbon also looks forward to supporting the United Nations UNiTE to End Violence against Women and the 16 Days of Activism campaigns which are held internationally from 25 November – 10 December each year.

Why the change?

White Ribbon Australia’s single objective is to eliminate all forms of men’s violence against women and children.

White Ribbon Day is the most important day of the year in our movement’s work. This isn’t changing. It’s a BIG day – but so is the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. So we’ve asked ourselves, why have two BIG days of action on the same day? Why not separate them, to have maximum impact from the work we are all doing to end men’s violence against women and children?

Over the past 12 months there has been a significant spotlight and global outcry in response to the sheer magnitude of sexual harassment and other forms of violence that women everywhere suffer, every day.

Moving the day will make sure that the hard work we do together on White Ribbon Day has the greatest impact possible, and will also support the work of the international community on November 25 in our common goal.

Because we know that together every community can end violence against women and children.

 

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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Don’t stand on the sidelines this weekend – White Ribbon Night 2018

Stand up, speak out and act to stop violence against women

(Sydney – 25 July 2018) White Ribbon Night kicks off this weekend – 27-29 July with thousands of community-based events and elite sporting clubs showcasing a commitment to reduce violence against women across Australia.

This year’s White Ribbon Night will spotlight the central role sport can play in delivering much needed social change for women’s safety and respect.

White Ribbon’s new CEO, Tracy McLeod Howe, applauded the social change being led by an increasing number of sports communities stating, “Violence against women is everyone’s issue. This July, we are asking every sporting community to stand up and speak out, to prevent the cycle of abuse and disrespect of women in our community. We will not remain silent.”

“Sport is part of Australia’s DNA, providing the perfect environment to raise awareness of the importance of respectful relationships and women’s safety. Traditionally sporting communities have fallen short of being supportive, safe and inclusive for women, but change is being led by hundreds of sporting organisations and weekend sports clubs across their communities. They are inspirational in their commitment to deliver social change.”

The social bonds which bind sport fans also include looking out for each other’s safety on the sideline and in all aspects of the community. Isolation is one of the key risk factors and indicators for intimate partner violence. With 1 in 3 women experiencing violence by someone they know, your weekly chat on the side of a sporting field could make the difference.

Intimate partner violence contributes to more death, disability and illness in women aged 18 to 44 than any other preventable risk factor.

“Society expects elite sportspeople, their organisations, and the promotion of sport to be inclusive and respectful of women. We are proud to be working with many sporting organisations to deliver programs where prevention of men’s violence against women is incorporated into training, programs, events and communications in order to maximise community impact and to develop a sporting culture based on respect and inclusion,” said Tracy McLeod Howe.

White Ribbon congratulates the thousands sporting clubs across the community, regional, state, semi-professional or elite levels who will be standing up, speaking out and acting to end violence against women.

White Ribbon Night will feature, the White Ribbon NRL Round between West Tigers and Canterbury Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium Friday Night, the Adelaide Footy League – White Ribbon Night Round including 80 Adelaide teams, the kick of a 12-month six-club whole-of-community Sunshine Coast Sport Prevention Project- Not in Our Club project, AFL Victoria White Ribbon Round (next weekend), and the Western Sydney Wanderers community clubs across July.

White Ribbon is backed by the dedication and commitment of 1200 Ambassadors (mostly men), 160 Advocates, and 22 Committees across Australia – they are the White Ribbon social movement. Funds raised go towards supporting White Ribbon’s national primary prevention campaign, which aims to stop violence before it occurs, through education initiatives in schools, workplaces and the broader community. White Ribbon is committed to building an Australian community where every woman lives in safety, free from all forms of men’s abuse. Support White Ribbon make a donation.

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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 and gun control law reform

White Ribbon Australia advocates for compulsory family law firearm checks once proceedings have been lodged in the Family Courts, and further call for a full scale review of gun laws within Australia.

 

The below is taken from the official campaign run by Gun Control Australia:

Last week two teenagers, Jennifer and Jack Edwards, were shot dead by their father, John Edwards, a 68-year-old Financial Planner. Mr Edwards was able to join St Mary’s Indoor Shooting Centre, he then obtained a firearms licence and permit before legally buying two high-powered firearms, which he used to shoot his children.

Mr Edwards was estranged from his wife Olga Edwards and custody proceedings had commenced in the Family Court.

As the law currently stands, when a person applies for a firearm licence or permit to acquire additional firearms, the spouse of the applicant does not need to be notified or consulted, even when a family law matter has commenced in the courts and there has been previous history of threats and fear.

If the law had required police to notify and consult with Olga Edwards before approving Mr Edwards’ application for a firearm, then his firearm application could have been denied.

Samantha Lee, Director of GCA states, “Current gun laws fail to adequately protect women and children from gun violence because the law requires an AVO to be in place or a charge for a criminal offence before a firearm may be revoked or suspended. By then, it may be too late to save a life.”

“What GCA wants to see happen is a more pro-active approach which gives woman and spouses a voice in the gun licence continuation, application or acquisitions process.”

Gun Control Australia (GCA) is calling for the implementation of robust new family law firearm safety checks to better protect families from gun violence.

The call comes after the recent horrific shooting of two teenagers in West Pennant Hills by their father who legally obtained several firearms including high-powered handguns.

Under the current law, police do not have to notify a spouse when their partner or ex-partner applies for a gun licence or a permit to obtain additional firearms.

GCA is calling on all State and Territory Attorney General’s to support our proposal for family law firearm safety checks.The checks would be compulsory and required to be undertaken once a proceeding has been lodged in the Family Court. The checks would include:

(1) Firearm Licence Review, and
(2) Spousal notification for all new applications for a firearm licence and permits to acquire a firearm application

Firearm Licence Review

The Firearm Licence Review (FLR) would require police to check if any party to the family court proceedings has a gun licence and if so, if there is any concern for the safety for the firearm licence holder, their immediate family or the public. The police would have the power to suspend or revoke a licence or not issue a permit.

Spousal notification

Spousal notification would require police to notify the spouse/ partner who is a party to family law custody proceedings when the other party has a gun licence or has made an application for a firearm licence or an application to obtain a permit to acquire a licence. The notification would then allow the spouse/partner to object to the continuation of the licence or the application on the grounds of concerns for personal safety to himself, herself or others.

Full Scale Review

We also call for the commonwealth and state parliaments of Australia to initiate a full-scale review of our nation’s gun laws, which have been steadily weakened after decades of pressure by an NRA style gun lobby here in Australia.

We need your support to change our gun laws to better protect families from gun violence.

Read and sign the petition.

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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No excuse for family violence. Don’t Sit on the Sidelines – Stand Up, Speak Out and Act

The family violence witnessed last weekend at a child’s sports game in Sydney is appalling and unacceptable. Violence within a family-unit should never be tolerated, and sadly violence in this family has been normalised. The role of the bystander is to safely intervene and stop abuse, when they witness accounts of abuse and violence towards women.

White Ribbon supports the police investigation into this violent outburst.

Men’s violence against women and children is preventable through education and action. When we teach our children, family and friends about respectful relationships, and practice it ourselves on a daily basis, we can truly end violence against women and children.

We need more men to stand up to violence and disrespectful men to reduce all forms of violence and disrespect.

1 in 3 women have experienced physical or sexual violence by someone they know. This statistic is unacceptable, but can be changed through a concerted investment and effort in prevention, across every aspect of Australians society.

We need to teach our children about respect for one another and how to disagree in a healthy manner which does not cause physical or emotional harm to another.

White Ribbon is calling on all Australians to stand up and speak out to end all forms of violence against women and children. The sporting community is critical to promoting respectful relationships and mobilising community action to prevent violence against women. Sporting clubs play an integral role in calling-out this poor behaviour and embedding a sporting culture, which promotes respect and equality.

With White Ribbon Night weekend next weekend, 27-29 July, we are calling on our sporting communities to play an integral role in ending abuse and disrespect against women. Don’t just sit on the sidelines – stand up, speak out and act to stop violence against women.

 

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For media enquiries please contact Irina Kamychnikova on 0426 221 550.

Note to media

White Ribbon Australia asks all media to include the following line when reporting on incidents of men’s violence against women:

If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 for advice or support. This free service providing confidential advice is open 24/7. In an emergency, call the police on 000. All incidents of violence should be reported to the police.

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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Family violence must end – too many lives are lost

It is heartbreaking to hear of the sad news of the two teenagers who were killed yesterday evening in their family home in West Pennant Hills. Everyone is entitled to live in their home free of fear for their own safety.

Violence against family members is absolutely abhorrent and we must act together as a society to end all forms of abuse against women and children.

Domestic and family violence deaths are preventable. This incident is preventable. With one in four children in Australia exposed to domestic violence[1], it is past time we have a conversation with our family members, children and communities about all forms of harassment and abuse in order to ultimately end violence.

There is no excuse for violence. Investment in prevention and early intervention is critical to minimising the negative effects of violence on children[2]  We must stand up, speak out and act to end all forms of violence against women and children.

Our heart goes out to the family and friends affected by this tragedy.

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

The White Ribbon campaign is the largest global social movement to stop violence against women. It engages and enables men and boys to lead this social change.  In Australia, White Ribbon is an organisation that works to prevent violence by changing the attitudes and behaviours that support men’s violence against women and gender inequality. The prevention work is driven through social marketing, the Ambassador Program and prevention initiatives across communities, in schools, workplaces, universities and sporting codes.

  • One in three women experience physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by someone known to them.[3]
  • One in five women experience harassment within the workplace. [4]
  • 94% of employees agree employers should take a leadership role in educating their workplace about respectful relationships between men and women.[5]
  • In a recent survey, 48% of respondents who had experienced domestic violence disclosed it to a manager or supervisor, and only 10% found their response helpful.[6]
  • Disclosure is often a traumatic experience for victims of violence, but it can also be a stressful time for supervisors receiving the disclosure. Training and support is critical.
  • The Australian Government estimates that domestic violence costs the business and corporate sector about $1.5 billion per annum. The direct cost to employers in terms of staff absenteeism, lost productivity replacement staff costs and misused workplace resources is estimated to cost $465 million per annum.[7]
  • Most workplaces will employ current, former or potential perpetrators and victims of domestic violence, using workplace practices to educate, deter and support in a structured social setting is critical.
  • Of those who reported experiencing family violence: nearly half the respondents reported that the violence affected their capacity to get to work—the major reason being physical injury or restraint; and in the last 12 months, 19% reported that family violence continued in the workplace, with 12% indicating it occurred in the form of abusive phone calls and emails, and 11% stating that it occurred by way of the violent person attending the workplace.[8]

[1] Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse, 2011

[2] https://www.anrows.org.au/publications/insights/research-summary-the-impacts-domestic-and-family-violence-children

[3] Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2013). Personal Safety, Australia, 2012, cat. no. 4906.0. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/1kK5e0I © White Ribbon Australia 2014

[4] Australian Human Rights Commission (2008). Sexual Harassment Guide. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/1upBypH © White Ribbon Australia 2014

[5] Pennay, D. & Powell, A. (2012). The role of bystander knowledge, attitudes and behaviours in preventing violence against women: A full technical report. The Social Research Centre. Melbourne. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/1osZjYt © White Ribbon Australia 2014

[6] McFerran, L. (2011). Safe at Home, Safe at Work? National Domestic violence and the workplace survey. Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse. Retrieved from: https://www.arts.unsw.edu.au/media/FASSFile/National_Domestic_Violence_and_the_Workplace_Su rvey_2011_Full_Report.pdf p. 13.

[7] National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (2009). The cost of violence against women and their children.

[8] ADFVC, ADFVC National Domestic Violence and the Workplace Survey (2011).

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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