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White Ribbon Comments on Criminal Law (Domestic Violence) Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2015

White Ribbon commends the review by the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee (the Committee) of proposed legislative changes to address recommendations 118 and 120 of the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence report Not Now, Not Ever.

White Ribbon Australia (White Ribbon) appreciates the opportunity to provide comment in relation to the Criminal Law (Domestic Violence) Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2015 (The Bill).  To see the full statement, click here.

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

 

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Today is White Ribbon Day – National Day to Stop Men’s Violence against Women

Today is White Ribbon Day!

In Australia, all women should live in safety, free from all forms of men’s violence. Sadly, this is not the case. On average, more than one woman per week is killed by a current or former partner. This deeply disturbing fact is only one tragic part of the bigger story surrounding domestic violence.

The Australian community is uniting to focus on stopping the scourge of Domestic Violence. White Ribbon, now in its 12th year, asks Australians to take a stand today to end men’s violence against women. This campaign focuses on the positive role men can play to influence the actions of those few men who use violence and break the cycle of violence in society.

The White Ribbon campaign runs year-long, culminating today. Throughout the year and particularly in November, White Ribbon events are held across Australia to educate and raise awareness about men’s violence against women. They reflect the power of the community to drive change.

White Ribbon’s mission is making women’s safety a man’s issue too. Men are standing up, speaking out and acting to prevent violence. The prevention work of White Ribbon takes place in schools, workplaces and across the wider community. White Ribbon’s Programs provide the tools to drive cultural change, recognising the vital role of, and actions required by, all men to prevent violence against women.

“White Ribbon applauds communities across Australia uniting on Wednesday 25th November in support of bringing an end to men’s violence against women. These communities represent the critical role of collective action to drive change. It is everyone’s responsibility to make this happen. We need ongoing action amongst our schools, workplaces, sporting clubs and politicians, if we are to become a society committed to respect, stopping the violence and delivering true gender equality” said John Rosewarne, Chair of White Ribbon Australia.  

THE MEDIA CAN HELP STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

The media have a vital role in helping to raise awareness of violence against women. White Ribbon is inviting journalists to play a part in ending violence against women in Australia by featuring stories and raising awareness within the community.

White Ribbon is also encouraging media to wear a white ribbon today. 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 Selena O’Hare 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.

White Ribbon invites Australians to show their support for White Ribbon Day by taking the new Oath online (www.whiteribbon.org.au/day), hosting or attending one of the many White Ribbon events taking place across Australia (www.whiteribbon.org.au/stop-violence-against-women/fundraising-events/) or purchasing White Ribbon wristbands (https://store.whiteribbon.org.au/).

For more information visit www.whiteribbon.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 prevention initiatives with communities, schools, universities, sporting codes and workplaces.

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

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White Ribbon Australia awards 14 Organisations with White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation

White Ribbon Australia has today conferred the tile of ‘White Ribbon Accredited Workplace’ to 14 outstanding organisations across Australia’s public and private sectors. This is the first group of Australian workplaces, outside of the pilot program, to be officially recognised as taking active steps to prevent and respond to men’s violence against women.

Branding as a White Ribbon Accredited Workplace is exclusively available to organisations who have supplied and documented evidence against White Ribbon Australia’s Workplace Accreditation Framework. Accreditation lasts for 3 years, evidencing an ongoing, sustainable commitment from these workplaces, to the prevention of men’s violence against women.

“We congratulate all of the workplaces receiving accreditation today on their outstanding efforts,” Libby Davies, Chief Executive of White Ribbon Australia said.

“Over the past 18 months, these organisations have dedicated time and resources to review and enhance their HR policies and procedures, the way in which they communicate with staff and have delivered training on what it means to work in a safe and respectful workplace.

The diversity of organisations we are accrediting today, from the public and private sectors, from small to large employers, all recognise that ending men’s violence against women is absolutely a workplace issue.”

The White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation program is a robust and structured initiative. It enables employees working at all levels to better understand men’s violence against women and to make the link between workplace culture and the attitudes and behaviours that support gender inequality.

John Rosewarne, Chair of White Ribbon Australia commented:

“The White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation Program recognises participant organisations as pioneers in contributing to the national effort to prevent and respond to men’s violence against women. All of the organisations accredited today – from the small to the very large, have evidenced their commitment to gender equality and to lead by example across every aspect of their working environment. Our team of independent Assessors have been highly impressed by the quality of the work submitted.”

Organisations can visit www.whiteribbon.org.au/stop-violence-against-women/get-workplace-involved/ to register their interest.

 

Accredited Workplaces November 2015

  1. Adelaide to Outback GP Training Program
  2. Australian Defence Force Academy
  3. Belgravia Leisure – Victoria Park Pool, Prince Alfred Park Pool and Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool
  4. Blacktown Workers Club Group
  5. Central Highlands Community Legal Centre Inc
  6. Department for Child Protection & Family Support, Government of Western Australia
  7. DP World Australia
  8. Endeavour Sports High School
  9. Grampians Community Health
  10. iiNet (HR department)
  11. The Australian Army
  12. Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation
  13. Royal Australian Air Force, HQ Air Mobility Group
  14. Shire of Campaspe

Blacktown Workers is the first Club in Australia to take part in White Ribbon Australia’s Workplace Accreditation program. Neale Vaughan, General Manager of Blacktown Workers Club Group, said:

“The Blacktown Workers Club Group is very proud and humbled to become our Industry’s first White Ribbon Workplace. We are committed and focused on leading our industry by positively influencing the discussion on anti-domestic violence advocacy. We do so by authentically adding value back into our community though our Staff, Managers and Board of Directors.”

 

ABOUT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND THE WORKPLACE 

  • One in three women experience physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by someone known to them.[1]
  • One in five women experience harassment within the workplace.[2]
  • 94% of employees agree employers should take a leadership role in educating their workplace about respectful relationships between men and women.[3]
  • 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.[4]
  • 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.
  • Most workplaces will employ current, former or potential perpetrators and victims of domestic violence at one time or another.

ABOUT WHITE RIBBON AUSTRALIA

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 the attitudes and behaviours that support gender inequality and men’s violence against women. The prevention work is driven through social marketing, the Ambassador Program and prevention initiatives with communities, schools, universities, sporting codes and workplaces.

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

 

[1] Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2013). Personal Safety, Australia, 2012

[2] Australian Human Rights Commission (2008). Sexual Harassment Guide.

[3] 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.

[4] VicHealth, 2009, National Survey on Community Attitudes to Violence Against Women. Victorian Health Promotion Foundation.

 

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White Ribbon commends the release of ‘Change the Story’

White Ribbon Australia commends the release today of ‘Change the Story: a shared framework for the primary prevention of violence against women and children in Australia’.  This document is an ambitious and vital tool for transformational cultural change. Developed by Our Watch, ANROWS and Vic Health, and involving extensive consultation including with White Ribbon Australia and others, the framework captures the vital role of engaging men and boys in the prevention of violence against women and their children.

“Change the Story will continue to drive a more holistic and strategic approach to prevention.  We are delighted to see its release today” said John Rosewarne, Chair of White Ribbon Australia. “Importantly, the framework highlights that violence against women and their children is preventable and we need concerted action to continue to drive the cultural change needed to put a stop to the violence. It articulates the relationship between violence and gender inequality, echoing the words of Prime Minister and White Ribbon Ambassador Malcolm Turnbull MP: ‘Disrespecting women does not always result in violence against women, but all violence against women begins with disrespecting women’.”

This has been the focus of White Ribbon’s work with the Australian community over the last twelve years.  Men and women have worked tirelessly as part of the White Ribbon Campaign to engage and support men and boys to be drivers of the cultural change that is needed to prevent violence against women. The Campaign, with its strong presence in the community including schools, workplaces, sporting codes, recreational and cultural spaces, across all states and territories, is working to bring about attitudinal and behavioural change.

“But experience tells us that violence prevention is more than just words – in order for prevention work to grow and best practice to be better evaluated and shared, it requires an ongoing commitment to funding. Through this shared framework, we look forward to this vitally important work supported by the appropriate funding it deserves.” Rosewarne said.

 

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

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Media statement from the Chief Executive about former White Ribbon Ambassador Hazem El-Masri

“White Ribbon is very disappointed to learn of the charges laid against former Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs player and former White Ribbon Ambassador Hazem El-Masri. White Ribbon advises that Hazem El-Masri is not currently a White Ribbon Ambassador and as always, White Ribbon will provide no further comment on a case before the courts.”

Libby Davies, Chief Executive of White Ribbon Australia.

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

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NSW Government announces $60 million Domestic Violence package

White Ribbon Australia congratulates Mike Baird MP, Premier of NSW and a White Ribbon Ambassador, for his Government’s firm focus on offender behaviour, as part of today’s $60 million commitment for enhanced domestic violence measures.

These resources represent a vital investment in services and response in NSW, and will provide much needed enhancement to support those experiencing domestic violence.

The package recognises the need for interventions for perpetrators of violence, with the inclusion of mandated perpetrator programs. This increases the focus on men who choose to use violence and holds them accountable for their actions.

White Ribbon Australia commends this approach.

Libby Davies, Chief Executive of White Ribbon Australia said: “It is critical that any domestic violence package is complimented by primary prevention programs and initiatives, so that the behaviours and attitudes that allow violence against women to occur in the first place are acknowledged and addressed in society.

“Engaging men and providing them with the tools to learn about the issue and take effective action encourages men to assume responsibility and ultimately change their behaviour before violence occurs.

“Recognition of the effective programs that are in place driving this change should also receive the full support of Government; it’s where social change stands its greatest chance of success.”

 

ABOUT WHITE RIBBON AUSTRALIA

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 violence prevention initiatives with communities, schools, universities, sporting codes and workplaces.

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

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Note from White Ribbon Australia on Billy Brownless and Sexist Language

Sexist language and degrading jokes are behaviours that help to create a climate whereby forms of violence and abuse are accepted. They are inconsistent with the message and focus of the White Ribbon Campaign that all women should live in safety free from all forms of men’s violence.

We are currently going through a thorough re-commitment process with our Ambassadors.  At the time the comment in question was made, Billy Brownless had not expressed intent to re-commit as an Ambassador. As part of the re-commitment process, all Ambassadors must complete an e-learning module which includes training on gender equality, violence supportive attitudes and behaviours, and the power of language.

White Ribbon will engage Billy on this issue to discuss what was said and how such language feeds into violence supportive attitudes in our society. It is important we continue to engage men on this issue, highlighting the positive role men play, alongside women, in preventing violence against women.

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

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A message from the Chair regarding John Elferink

The recent outburst of Attorney-General John Elferink towards Labour MLA Natasha Fyles during Parliament this week and his subsequent comments are inconsistent with the message and focus of the White Ribbon Campaign that all women should live in safety free from all forms of men’s violence.  White Ribbon Australia appreciates the resulting deep concern of our supporters.

As of today, Mr Elferink is no longer a White Ribbon Ambassador.

White Ribbon Australia has taken this matter very seriously and looks forward to working with Mr Elferink to ensure that despite him no longer being a White Ribbon Ambassador he is able to take responsibility and reflect on the language and behaviour that reinforces gender inequality and men’s violence against women.

We also want to reassure our supporters that we are taking every step to ensure our Ambassadors meet White Ribbon Australia and community expectations consistent with their responsibilities as a representatives. Since 2014, all men nominating to become White Ribbon Ambassadors have completed training, are interviewed and are subject to referee checks. Furthermore, we are currently implementing an Ambassador re-commitment process, which is helping us determine the ongoing suitability of those who became White Ribbon Ambassadors prior to 2014.

This matter has been a reminder to us all about the importance of Ambassadors and their role in modelling respectful relationships. Ambassadors are pivotal to the prevention of men’s violence against women, working with the community to make Australia safer for women and their children.

John Rosewarne

Chair

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

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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

 

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