Prevent men’s violence against women

Archive for the ‘Media Releases’ Category

Chair of White Ribbon Australia announces CEO’s retirement

This morning, White Ribbon Australia Chair Nicholas Cowdery AM QC, announced the retirement of CEO, Libby Davies, effective as of early July 2018.

Ms Davies’ decision to retire in July will bring to a close a remarkable career of continuous service to the organisation over the last seven years.

“Ms Davies is at the forefront of her field and her expertise in leadership, strategy, advocacy, lobbying and management has established White Ribbon Australia as the leading authoritative body in Australia for engaging men to make women’s safety a man’s issue too,” Mr Cowdery said.

“As CEO of White Ribbon Australia, Ms Davies has been responsible for nurturing and growing this critical social change movement to the outstanding position it occupies today, creating a pivotal platform in prevention that engages men to stand beside women to drive the change needed to prevent men’s violence against women. Her stewardship has been supported by her thorough working knowledge of the intersectionality of the causes of violence against women and drivers of gender inequality, and of the DFV policy field.

“Ms Davies has made a tremendous contribution to developing and improving the management of the organisation, embedding program logic across all the programs and ensuring measurement of outcomes. White Ribbon Australia is now fully accountable for its performance,” Mr Cowdery said.

“On behalf of the Board and staff, I extend our deep appreciation to Ms Davies for her professional and personal commitment and dedication to White Ribbon Australia during her tenure as our CEO. Under Libby’s leadership White Ribbon has undergone important and necessary change to make it the strong and successful organisation it is today.

“As White Ribbon Australia enters its next phase, the Board is committed to building on the established, integral foundations of the movement in Australia. We will continue to deliver our programs that, through best practice and well-developed program logic, are evidencing positive social change that is making a difference in this vital area of social policy and practice.”

Ms Davies says her decision is based on her wish to focus more on her family and to pursue other personal ambitions including joining her husband in their “sea change” business.

The White Ribbon Australia Board will be undertaking a public search for its new CEO through an Australian based recruitment agency.

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White Ribbon and Endeavour Drinks Group partnership statement

Please find below our position in relation to White Ribbon and Endeavour Drinks Group partnership which addresses your questions.

The partnership between White Ribbon Australia and the Endeavour Drinks Group was approved by the Board after a process of extensive stakeholder and research consultation. We are conscious that some supporters regard this partnership as controversial. We informed all supporters about this partnership.

Endeavour Drinks Group (EDG) have been supporting the work of White Ribbon since June 2013 to express their commitment to the prevention of violence against women. One of the main drivers for the establishment of this relationship was to “go where the problem is”. With millions of Australians visiting BWS/Dan Murphy’s each year, the partnership provides an opportunity to reach the community and continue to bring violence against women into the open, to talk about it and help prevent it from happening.

Our partnership with EDG is based on ethical engagement, sound research and an informed understanding of the issue of men’s violence against women and its link with alcohol. It is a relationship between a large retail group and White Ribbon Australia as part of the broader strategy to engage the community at large and men in particular, at times and places that extend the reach of the campaign into contexts that are difficult to reach.

Our campaign message is clear and unarguable: Alcohol is not an excuse for violence. There is no excuse. Within the limits of what is possible to convey with the time and means available at such points of sale, we believe that the displayed message in its context provides a focus on the link between alcohol and violence. Alcohol is not the underlying driver of violence against women. Men always have a choice; not all people who drink are violent, and many people who do not drink are violent. The proceeds that were raised by this initiative (including the Endeavour Drinks Group contribution) will be applied fully to programs aimed at young men at risk of alcohol abuse and abuse by violence.

Alcohol increases the likelihood and severity of violence and patterns of alcohol consumption. It is precisely for those reasons that White Ribbon Australia decided to target point of sale with key messaging that may be effective with men purchasing alcohol. Our message was on display and targeted to men at risk of alcohol-fuelled violence.

White Ribbon Australia is in no way denying a link between alcohol and violence – we are acknowledging the fact and seeking to contact men who may be at risk of causing the one to lead to the other. Nor is WRA supporting or encouraging the consumption of alcohol – we accept that it occurs and seek to use that circumstance to the advantage of our mission.

Research demonstrates that the relationship between alcohol and violence is the result of a complex interaction of a number of variables eg physical effect, individual characteristics, the drinking environment and societal attitudes and values. To address this issue associated with alcohol dependency and fuelled violence requires more than a focus on the activities of alcohol distributors.

To prevent violence against women requires engaging with the public at places where they live, work and play.

Alcohol does not itself drive violence against women. However, the contribution of alcohol to increased perpetration is significant in the context of social norms and practices that condone or support violence against women, in particular those relating to masculinity and masculine peer group behaviour.

Funds raised will enable White Ribbon to continue to drive primary prevention initiatives in communities across Australia, helping them to support efforts to stop men’s violence against women before it starts.

White Ribbon is committed to engaging with people across the community to obtain maximum reach on the key messaging on stopping violence against women in places where they live, work and play.

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 about White Ribbon’s Partnerships

White Ribbon Australia is committed to ending all forms of disrespectful behaviour, abuse and violence experienced by women. Every day White Ribbon works closely with its ambassadors,  advocates and supporters, community, government and corporate partners to bring about social change.

White Ribbon focuses on men’s responsibility to prevent men’s violence against women and believes that all men must be involved and be prepared to stand up, speak out and safely intervene when necessary, in order to achieve the change which is needed to stop the violence.

White Ribbon does not receive substantial funding from government; in fact, government funding makes up just 7% of its overall funding and those contributions are made towards specific programs. The resources to support this social change movement come from across the community, because it is through all the diverse parts of the community that we must drive the change necessary to prevent the violence.

To successfully lead a social change movement working to end men’s violence against women in Australia, White Ribbon must work closely with corporate, private, community and organisational partners to be the point of change and properly resource its campaigns and programs.

To achieve the levels of support for the change required we must build relationships with organisations which sometimes occupy  spaces in our society where they are regarded as possible contributors to the issue. Working in these spaces requires careful, considered, researched and often difficult and challenging decisions taken by the Board and operationalised by Management.

We are committed to a path of inclusion of the variety of organisations that make up our community to ensure that they are  provided with the necessary guidance, support and tools to drive cultural change within their own structures in order to reduce and end violence. Evidence-based programs which have demonstrated a measurable reduction in disrespectful behaviour and violence towards women can be embedded in these organisation’s commitment to change. Working with them also gives us better access to potential perpetrators to whom the message may be delivered more effectively.

We believe that engagement with these organisations is appropriate, necessary and vital in ending this scourge. They are encouraged to lead the change both as individuals and as organisations and to recognise the vital role they must play as community and corporate leaders and participants.

We acknowledge that this journey is a difficult one and must be carefully managed and periodically reviewed to ensure that the commitment made is genuine and can be held to account under the closest scrutiny.

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 condemns abuse of 17-year-old girl

“White Ribbon Australia has absolutely zero tolerance for violence of any kind – there is no defending violence against women and no excusing of abuse of any kind. We state in the clearest terms possible that it does not matter what part of the community or organisation you are from, perpetrators of abuse and violence against women must be held to account. There is no defending abuse in the workplace to employees and volunteers alike.

The White Ribbon social change movement is about men standing up, speaking out and taking responsibility to prevent and intervene safely in all incidences of disrespect and abuse of women. Workplaces are critical to changing a culture of disrespect and abuse including voluntary organisations. White Ribbon accredited workplaces promote respectful relationships, gender equality and demonstrate a culture of zero tolerance of disrespect, abuse and violence against women.”

Libby Davies, CEO White Ribbon Australia.

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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 Statement about the NSW Government’s Poker Machine License Program

White Ribbon Australia will not be accepting a donation related to Fairfield Hotel’s application to the NSW Government for additional poker machines.

Our initial intent in responding to the Fairfield Hotel request was to use the donation to directly fund White Ribbon’s prevention programs in schools and workplaces to address the heightened impacts gambling is having in the community.

Organisations are allowed to correct and learn from their mistakes. Once we realised the extent of the failed policy we withdrew our support.

Proceeds of lotteries and gambling collected by Governments usually go into a central fund. Governments then distribute these funds via grant programs to charities and community groups who deliver programs to counter the impacts gambling has on women, families and the community, along with other social services programs.

White Ribbon does not support the nature of the NSW Government’s Poker Machine License Program and will not support any application under this program, now or in the future.

Libby Davies, CEO White Ribbon Australia.

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 on the power of White Ribbon as a movement of change not just one day

Recent public conversation has questioned the benefit of White Ribbon Day including the use of the funds raised through this annual day.

White Ribbon Day is an annual awareness initiative held on one day of the year.  However it is one small part of the much larger White Ribbon social change movement that operates 365 days a year.

The day focuses the attention of the community on the issue of the prevention of men’s violence against women and gender equality by asking the community to become aware, engaged and help prevent violence towards women.

White Ribbon drives prevention to stop men’s violence against women before it occurs through:

  • Education programs in primary and secondary schools, supporting teachers and the community to build respectful relationships amongst young people
  • Workplace Accreditation to foster a culture of respect and equality in all workplaces
  • Work with organisations at community level to raise awareness of the significant role men play in the disrespect of women, and the important actions they can take to remedy this societal problem
  • Develop a range of important resources for the community, including free eLearning and factsheets
  • Advocating for change across areas of community where ongoing reform is required to help stop violence and support those who experience violence.

As a grassroots organisation, owned and driven by the community, White Ribbon relies mostly on funding from the community it serves, receiving only limited funds from the federal and state governments.

White Ribbon’s aim is to prevent all forms of disrespect and violence which women experience and works with both male ambassadors and female advocates (including survivors of domestic violence), to raise awareness and create change. Through education, awareness raising, preventative programs and partnerships, White Ribbon provide the tools for men to stop violence against women in their community and beyond.

Alongside its own activities, White Ribbon works with many other domestic violence, family safety and community organisations to ensure that Australia has a connected response to the unacceptable levels of violence in our community.

White Ribbon Day is the most well-known bystander campaign day to prevent violence against women in Australia. But it is part of the all year round social change movement that is bringing about positive change.

White Ribbon thanks all supporters for their commitment to building a safer Australia for women and their 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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Reiterating Women’s Reproductive Rights: White Ribbon Australia Position Statement

The Board of White Ribbon Australia authorised the publication on 23 February 2017 of White Ribbon’s position statement in relation to women’s reproductive and sexual health. This was in the context of moves being made in NSW and Queensland to decriminalise abortion which – provided legal requirements and protections are observed – is not a crime in the other six Australian jurisdictions.

In the light of recent public comments about White Ribbon’s statement, whether from misunderstandings or by misrepresentation, it is considered appropriate to state again White Ribbon’s position.

White Ribbon Australia supports the autonomy of women to make their own choices about their basic right to health care, including contraception and abortion. We support the decriminalisation of abortion and nationally consistent access to safe and legal abortion and support for women throughout the process and afterwards. This is one way to address reproductive coercion, which is an aspect of men’s violence against women which White Ribbon seeks to prevent.

In light of recent comments it is necessary to state that White Ribbon is not advocating for “unlimited abortion to birth”, “the active killing of … vulnerable babies”, “full-term abortion” or the “systematic killing of children in the womb”. The words “safe and legal” abortion are in the statement and we recognise that it is possible to create a regime that appropriately regulates access to such a procedure and provides necessary protections for all concerned: as has been done – with some differences – in the other Australian jurisdictions. Experience has shown that late-term abortions in those places are rare, often carried out for the protection of the woman’s life or in some other emergency situation.

White Ribbon Australia endorses its previous statement. It regrets that this is considered unacceptable by some of its supporters. It thanks them for their support of our core work and urges them to reconsider their position in the light of this further explication of our approach.

Nicholas Cowdery, AM QC Chair, White Ribbon Australia

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 2017 calling for a STOP to violence – 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).

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 on #MeToo

As an organisation White Ribbon advocates to raise awareness of and challenge ingrained attitudes and power inequalities that give rise to men’s violence against women. White Ribbon supports equality between men and women. White Ribbon does not condone nor promote possessive, controlling behaviour towards women.

Words are powerful and are a significant contributor to displays of controlling behaviour –  language is often used as a tool to assert power and authority, however can also be used to prevent violence against women.

Supporting social change, the White Ribbon primary prevention initiative highlights the positive role men can play in reducing the occurrence of domestic violence by asking how they can make a difference. The #MeToo campaign is a turning point where men can acknowledge the steps they can take to help those who have suffered abuse or harassment.

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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