Prevent men’s violence against women

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Community Response in Queensland

White Ribbon is heartened by the outpouring of community grief at the horrendous events that took place last week in Queensland. The attendance of so many at Sunday’s Candle Light Vigil on the Gold Coast is a testament to this.

One woman is killed nearly every week in Australia by a male partner or ex-partner – often while she is trying to leave the relationship. The ongoing deaths of women in our communities as a result of men’s violence against women is unacceptable.

The community’s outrage at these horrific events reinforces the need for Australians to be committed to changing the attitudes and behaviours that normalise and perpetuate men’s violence against women. It also reflects the community wanting to better understand what causes this violence and how it can be prevented.

As a national organisation, White Ribbon works with communities, in schools, sports clubs and workplaces, to talk about respectful relationships and support local action to stop violence against women before it starts. Men are key to speaking out and engaging other men in the conversation. Because the majority of this violence is committed by men. White Ribbon supports men to work alongside women to create widespread and lasting change.

White Ribbon Committees are pivotal to community engagement and the Queensland Committee is no exception.  They have been tireless this last week in supporting on the ground, working with the White Ribbon Team to draw attention and focus response.

This response is parallel to the work of many experts, advocates and others, who have been identifying the need for ongoing change to address men’s violence against women.

We have seen many words devoted to the issue of domestic and family violence. Gradually, Governments across jurisdictions are heightening their action. But progress is still too slow.

White Ribbon will always stand beside those affected and those wanting to affect change. And together we will make a difference. But it will take time, more resources, and the collaborative efforts of us all to finally end male violence against women.

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

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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Ngukurr School Breaks The Silence On Violence

Ngukurr School in Arnhem Land today demonstrated its commitment to speaking out against domestic violence releasing its Break the Silence music video.

The video captures the commitment of the school and community to speak out about violence against women. With the support of the Ngukurr Community Safe House for Women and the wider community, the school has prioritised teaching high school students the importance of healthy relationships and the dangers of domestic and family violence.  The video gives expression to this work.

Ngukurr High School Senior Teacher Olivia Desormeaux said, “To support our wellbeing program we reached out to Indigenous Hip Hop Projects and White Ribbon to help us create a music video which would consolidate all the great learning that was being done on this issue.”

Melanie Schultz, Ngukurr High School Teacher said, “We are really excited to share this video with the wider community. Domestic violence is an issue across the country and we hope the students’ message reaches other young people and their families, enabling them to start the conversation about domestic violence”.

Libby Davies, CEO, White Ribbon Australia, said, “Violence against women has a negative impact on children and young people’s social and emotional wellbeing. Schools and communities are critical to educating young people and breaking the cycle of violence.”

This video is particularly significant, given that Indigenous females in the Northern Territory are almost 22 times more likely to be victims of domestic violence than non-Indigenous females.”

Ngukurr School is located in Ngukurr Community, situated in South East Arnhem Land, 320km southeast of Katherine on the northern bank of the Roper River.

Cathy Huddleston, Community elder and Remote Aboriginal Community worker at the Ngukurr Safe House, said, “We have a strong relationship with Ngukurr School and have worked with the high school teachers to educate these students around respect for themselves and others. We hear the song being played in community and you see the kids stop and talk about it. The community is very proud of our kids.

White Ribbon is a national campaign engaging men to work alongside women to ‘make women’s safety a man’s issue too’.  The Campaign works through primary prevention initiatives involving awareness raising and education, and programs with youth, schools, workplaces and across the broader community.

On average, one woman a week is killed by a current or former partner in Australia and 1 in 4 children are exposed to domestic violence, which is a recognised form of child abuse.

This video is a powerful example of the ways in which schools and communities across Australia can give meaning to the White Ribbon Campaign and address complex social issues with our young people in safe and sensitive ways” said Libby Davies.

Ngukurr School continues to work with the community and local services to support students to learn, value and experience respectful relationships and embed the White Ribbon Campaign in their school community.

For more information visit University and TAFE Involvement or  Breaking the Silence 

 

If you or someone you know is experiencing violence and needs help or support, call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732. This is a free telephone counselling service for anyone living or residing in Australia (male or female) who has experienced, or is at risk of, family & domestic violence and/or sexual assault. The line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In an emergency, call the police on 000. All incidents of violence should be reported to the police.

ABOUT WHITE RIBBON

The White Ribbon Campaign is the largest global male-led movement to stop violence against women. It engages and enables men and boys to lead this social change. In Australia, White Ribbon is a national organisation that works to prevent violence by changing attitudes and behaviours. The prevention work is driven through social marketing, the Ambassador Program and initiatives with communities, schools, universities, sporting codes and workplaces.

ABOUT INDIGENOUS HIP HOP PROJECTS

Indigenous Hip Hop Projects (IHHP) is a unique team of talented artists in all elements of hip hop, media, entertainment and performing arts, who have been working extensively in Indigenous communities around Australia since 2005. Specialising in week long intensive projects in Dance, Music, Film, Art and Culture.  For more information, visit the IHHP website.

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

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White Ribbon Australia Celebrates Indian Independence Day

Dr Manjula O'Connor speaking on what the research with Indian women on the need to involve men with women and the elders to stop domestic violence

Dr Manjula O’Connor speaking on what the research with Indian women on the need to involve men with women and the elders to stop domestic violence

 

15 August marks Indian Independence Day. This year, White Ribbon is proud to share in the celebrations with the Council of Indian Australians who are holding a Dinner Function in Blacktown, NSW, on Friday 14 August.

Many of our supporters are Indian Australians. Dr Manjula O’Connor is one. As well as being a White Ribbon Advocate, Manjula is a member of our recently formed Diversity Program Reference Group.

Manjula has been a psychiatrist for over three decades and is a passionate advocate for gender equality, domestic violence awareness and victim support both locally and abroad. In 2009, Manjula undertook a Mental Health Leadership Course and joined the Australia India Society of Victoria, setting up a ‘taskforce against domestic violence in Indian and ethnic communities’.

In 2010, the Immigrant Women’s Domestic Violence Service nominated Manjula as a White Ribbon Advocate, laying the foundation for what has since become a strong and valued relationship with White Ribbon Australia.

Manjula co-founded the Australasian Centre for Human Rights and Health (ACHRH) in 2012 with the goal to promote gender equality, family harmony, the rights of new migrants and victim support. Studies Manjula has conducted as Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne have aimed to understand the cultural aspects of domestic violence in Indian communities.

Manjula believes that culturally and linguistically diverse men can play a major role in ensuring the safety of women and that the primary message of White Ribbon – that men must lead the fight against men’s violence against women – can work for the Indian community.

Manjula is currently designing a theatre project named ‘Natakvihar’ which means theatre space in Sanskrit. The project is aimed at developing accurate and acceptable interventions with the support of Indian men, academics and many community organisations. She hopes to include teenage boys, young men and seniors so that their shared knowledge can be applied to create tools to lead social change.

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

 

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White Ribbon’s relationship with the NRL

White Ribbon Australia has had an informal association with the NRL since 2012. In March of this year, White Ribbon and the NRL signed a Partnership Agreement. This establishes White Ribbon as an integral part of the Game’s ‘Voice against Violence’ campaign. It also encourages NRL clubs to become White Ribbon Accredited Workplaces and commit to driving the prevention of violence against women in communities. Many NRL players are committed White Ribbon Ambassadors.

The NRL itself is an accredited White Ribbon Workplace. White Ribbon has full confidence in the NRL to lead by example in establishing a culture of non-violence across all of its clubs and this has been demonstrated by Dave Smith’s words over the weekend.

The nature of our work with the NRL is advisory. Violence against women is a serious issue both in sport and in the community at large. There is a lot of work still to be done to stop violence before it occurs, by challenging the deeply ingrained attitudes, social norms and power inequalities that give rise to men’s violence against women.

White Ribbon will not comment on the specifics of any ongoing legal case, however we stand strong in our view that violence is never acceptable.  Education is key and this is the reason that we work with partners like the NRL to get the message of non-violence out across Australia.

The fact remains that in Australia, one in three women experience physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by someone known to them. Domestic violence occurs across all communities, cultures and socio-economies.  It is imperative that employers across all sectors and industries are aware of this issue and acknowledge that it has the potential to affect their staff. The NRL and its affiliated clubs are no different.

We are committed to working with the NRL, through the Agreement to ensure that the Game, its staff, its players and its supporters understand that all forms of abuse, violence and coercive control will not be tolerated and that individuals will be held accountable for their actions.

Disclosure is often a traumatic experience for victims of violence. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, please call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732. This service is available 24/7, provides free and confidential counselling, and can refer you or someone you know onto local support and legal services if needed.

In an emergency, call the police on 000. All incidents of violence should be reported to the police.

Note to media

  1. Accreditation as a White Ribbon Workplace confirms an organisation’s commitment to developing a workplace culture that does not tolerate violent behaviour and abuse. Professional sporting codes are no different to any other workplace.
  2. Accreditation lasts for 3 years, at which point an organisation will go through the process once again, to retain its accreditation.
  3.  The NRL became a White Ribbon Accredited Workplace in December 2013.

 

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

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 Night is back!

WHITE RIBBON NIGHT

Have a night in to get the word out about stopping violence against women
Friday 31 July 2015 is White Ribbon Night. It is about raising awareness and much needed funds to support the work to end men’s violence against women. The annual event, now in its third year, asks Australians to have a Night in to Get the Word Out about the seriousness of violence against women and its prevention.

White Ribbon Australia CEO, Libby Davies, explained the concept behind the mid-year campaign including the raising of vital funds to expand White Ribbon Australia’s primary prevention initiatives in schools, workplaces and the broader community.

“We all like to think that all of us, our family, our friends, colleagues and neighbours, are safe at home. Most of us believe this to be a basic human right and would be outraged if it were taken from us. But sadly, for many of us, this is not always the case.” Libby said.

“Over 12 months, on average, one woman is killed every week in Australia as a result of intimate partner violence. Alarmingly, this figure is rising. A woman is most likely to be killed by her current or former male partner in her own home.”

“In Australia, one in four children is exposed to domestic violence. Research tells us that children exposed to domestic violence are more likely to perpetrate this violence in the future.”

“We want this vicious cycle of violence to stop. Our hope is that communities across Australia will unite on Friday 31 July in support of bringing an end to men’s violence against women. Research tells us that building greater equality and respect between men and women can reduce attitudes that support violence. All funds raised will support the primary prevention work of the White Ribbon Campaign. Primary prevention involves 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. We are dedicated to this cause, as are our supporters.”

Getting involved in White Ribbon Night is easy. You can organise a night in, donate directly and take part in the online auction. Everything you need to know can be found at http://www.whiteribbon.org.au/stop-violence-against-women/what-you-can-do/campaign-white-ribbon-night/.

Event organisers have access to our ‘How to Make A Difference’ Pack. This is jam-packed with activity suggestions and resources, including family-friendly games, plus a donation link that can be sent to friends and family to support their White Ribbon Night event.

This is our biggest fundraising night of the year. Please support us. All donations over $2 are tax deductible.

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

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National 7-10 school syllabus

White Ribbon acknowledges today’s announcement by the Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

White Ribbon Australia acknowledges today’s announcement by Pru Goward, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, confirming that the national 7-10 school syllabus will have a focus on domestic violence prevention.

White Ribbon has been helping schools focus on their anti-violence education since 2009. A leader in this field, White Ribbon argues that working directly with schools, children and young people is essential in helping prevent violence against women.

White Ribbon Australia’s CEO Libby Davies said: ‘White Ribbon Australia’s Breaking the Silence in Schools Program is our award-winning professional learning program for principals and senior teachers. So far, the Program has engaged over 360 schools and 220,000 students to build more respectful, safer, and more inclusive Australian schools. We know that with our help, violence prevention in schools is working.’

White Ribbon Australia’s Breaking the Silence in Schools Program is based on the National Standards for Sexual Assault Prevention Education. This year, the Program is running in NSW, ACT, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania.

For more information White Ribbon Australia’s Breaking the Silence in Schools Program, please see:

http://www.whiteribbon.org.au/stop-violence-against-women/get-school-involved/

 

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

 

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White Ribbon Announces its Newest Ambassador – Reece Mastin

White Ribbon is excited to announce its newest ambassador, multi-award winning recording artist and performer Reece Mastin. The 20 year old is the third youngest ambassador to join the White Ribbon team.

In support of ending violence against women, the singer’s latest release depicts the trauma and repercussions of domestic violence.

Of his involvement with White Ribbon, Reece says: “I’m extremely proud to be a White Ribbon Ambassador, this is a cause I feel very strongly about. Violence against women is never acceptable and it horrifies me that one woman a week is killed by a current or former partner. I have 3 beautiful sisters and a lot of amazing women in my life. I want to do whatever I can to raise awareness around this massive issue in the community. I want people to know that I will not be silent. I call on others, young and old, to speak out against domestic violence.”

Statistics show that one in four Australians are exposed to domestic violence. Research indicates increased risk of mental health, behavioural and learning difficulties from childhood exposure to intimate partner violence. Furthermore, children exposed to domestic violence are more likely to perpetrate this violence.

Libby Davies, CEO of White Ribbon Australia, is delighted that Reece has joined the Ambassadors Program. She said: “ Reece’s engagement in the work of White Ribbon will hopefully encourage other young people to make the right choices – we are overwhelmed with the support shown by Reece and hope that together we can create positive behavioural change and combat the prevalence of violence against women.”

According to a survey conducted by Youth Action NSW and White Ribbon Australia released earlier this month, the majority of Australian young people believe domestic violence to be common in Australian society.

Reece Mastin’s new video Rebel and the Reason can be viewed here: http://vevo.ly/AkwcAQ For any further information about White Ribbon please visit www.whiteribbon.org.au.

Note to media

White Ribbon Australia asks all media professionals 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 for advice or support. In an emergency, call 000.

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

 

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White Ribbon Australia congratulates Mike Baird on his re-election

White Ribbon Australia congratulates Mike Baird on his re-election as Premier of NSW. Measures to address the impact of family and domestic violence on women, children and the NSW community featured among the commitments made by Mr. Baird and the NSW Liberals in the lead up to the election.

CEO of White Ribbon Australia Libby Davies said: ‘In addition to being Premier of NSW, Mike Baird is also a White Ribbon Ambassador. We commend him and his party for their commitment to making NSW communities safer and look forward to working with the Government to see the promised party initiatives relative to family and domestic violence come to fruition’.

Family and domestic violence was a key election issue, reflecting the community’s interest in immediate and effective ways of dealing with violence against women. ‘Violence against women is an issue in every community and people have had enough’ said Ms. Davies. She also encouraged the Premier to strengthen the Government’s focus on violence prevention: ‘While it is vital we provide services to those experiencing violence, governments also need to invest in violence prevention to create long-term social change and make violence against women a thing of the past’ Ms. Davies said.

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

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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Australian young people deem domestic violence as commonplace in Australia today

More than three quarters (76%) of Australian young people feel that domestic violence is common in Australia

  • Only half of high school students (54%) report receiving information about domestic violence in school
  • Over one in four young males (28%) believe ‘girls like guys in charge of the relationship’

 

The majority of Australian young people believe domestic violence to be common in Australian society according to a survey conducted by Youth Action NSW and White Ribbon Australia released today.

The survey of over 3000 respondents examined attitudes of young people aged between 16-25 years and explored young people’s views toward gender stereotypes and violence in Australian society, including online domestic violence.

The study, designed to develop an understanding of young people’s awareness of and attitudes towards domestic violence, has revealed 83% of young females believe it to be common or very common in Australia and 60% of males.

Gender Stereotypes

CEO of White Ribbon Australia Libby Davies said, “The survey shows that young people have a good awareness of domestic violence, but they also show that some young people, particularly young men, hold attitudes that support gender stereotypes that lead to violence against women.”

The research revealed that males were more likely to agree with gender stereotypes, with key differences of perception and interesting gaps around the nature of power and dominance in relationships including:

Male

Female

  • Girls like guys who are in charge of the relationship

28%

11%

  • Men are usually better at more things than women

15%

3%

  • Men are supposed to be head of the household and take control of the relationship

19%

4%

Youth Action NSW Director, Policy & Advocacy, Eamon Waterford, said: “There are a lot more young Australian men out there who think women want them to take charge than there are women who agree with that. If one in five Australian men thinking they’re meant to be head of the household and controller of the relationship, when only one in 25 Australian women agree, then we have a hugely concerning situation. That’s why we think it’s vital to start exposing these gaps in understanding so a conversation can be started.”

Interpretations of Domestic Violence Explored Online

The research study also examined interpretations of what constitutes domestic violence with the majority less likely to consider more subtle behaviours, particularly those online as controlling, dominating or employed to instil fear.

Percentage of respondents who don’t consider the following as domestic violence:

 

Male

Female

  • Checking a partner’s email or phone without consent

33%

26%

  • Not showing a partner any love or affection

66%

45%

  • Constant yelling at partner

10%

4%

Respondents were found to get information about domestic violence from a vast array of sources including the general news (71%), television (59%) and newspapers (54%), but only 54% indicated that they received information about domestic violence at their school.

White Ribbon Australia CEO Libby Davies said: “Violence against women has a clear and negative impact on children and young people’s behavioural, cognitive and emotional functioning, and social development. Schools must play a key role in educating young people and breaking the cycle of violence but only 54% of young people are getting information about domestic violence from their school. There is a critical need for collective action. It is everyone’s responsibility to make this happen: schools, workplaces, sporting clubs, politicians, and local communities alike must all play a role in ending men’s violence against women.”

For more information visit http://www.whiteribbon.org.au/understand-domestic-violence/research/ or www.youthaction.org.au

ABOUT WHITE RIBBON

The White Ribbon Campaign is the largest global male-led 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 attitudes and behaviours. The prevention work is driven through social marketing, the Ambassador Program and initiatives with communities, schools, universities, sporting codes and workplaces.

ABOUT YOUTH ACTION NSW

Youth Action is the peak organisation representing young people and youth services in NSW. Youth Action works towards a society where all young people are supported, engaged and valued.

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

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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