White Ribbon welcomes Australian Labor’s significant policy announcement about the reproductive and sexual health of Australian women.
White Ribbon CEO Delia Donovan responded to today’s announcement, “This is a historic moment for the advancement of women’s reproductive health in Australia with the first National Sexual & Reproductive Health Strategy being carefully considered and announced by the Australian Labor.”
“A woman’s right to access safe and affordable healthcare for all of their sexual and reproductive health requirements should not be impeded by location, legislation, cost or social attitudes.
“The health system at all levels should be equipped to provide a range of necessary healthcare options for every woman’s needs and choices.
“Decriminalisation of reproductive choices women make in NSW and other jurisdictions who still have legislative or structural resource barriers in place should be the priority of Federal and State and Territory governments.
“We would encourage all political parties in Australia to support this initiative and every woman’s right to seek the health treatment that they choose,” said Ms Donovan.
In 2018, Dave Tinelt, White Ribbon Ambassador and Housing and Homeless Support Specialist from Wollongong, NSW embarked on a journey to regional Queensland. Dave undertook an engagement trip to Charleville, Queensland, representing White Ribbon Australia to visit local schools, community service providers, health workers and police.
Engaging young people
Dave was highly interested in engaging with primary and high school kids about respectful relationships.
To reach a space where students were sharing stories, opening up and ready to listen, Dave looked to games and music to work with the students. A social experiment to break the ice allowed Dave to get to know students and for them to relax: “I took a roll of toilet paper and passed it around. Giggles ensued. Take as much or as little as you want. Every square of toilet paper they needed to share something about themselves.”
Dave worked with high school students on showcasing how domestic violence can affect their daily life and how both verbal and physical bullying is a form of perpetuating violence. He encouraged students to understand that it was okay to speak out if they witness violence.
“The teachers were really positive about what White Ribbon is and what we stand for. Everyone took away a different experience to what White Ribbon means for them.”
Understanding the town and their responses
Dave attended community meetings and also met with police to see what they were doing to tackle men’s violence against women and to see what their daily working experiences were with domestic violence. He also visited medical service providers including social services providers working in the drugs and alcohol space.
Dave wanted to understand how many people were in need of these services due to the impact of domestic violence: “I wanted to know what was available to treat returning victims, and what they were doing about the problem. There needs to be more done and available in remote towns.”
Dave recognised that for victims in remote communities, the challenges were made more difficult with the distance, where the next town is at least two to three hours away. This made the escape from an abusive relationship a costlier and daunting task.
Looking to change and building the Men’s Shed
Working with the community and service providers, Dave devised a strategic plan to create a Men’s Shed with a committee coming together. Using one of the local facilities, it was to be a space which offered education with group meetings, peer support and a communal space to speak about problems openly – looking to prevent violence before it starts.
“It all comes down to being informative. If a male can make an informed decision, at least he’s got that education to think twice about what he does.”
At the end of his trip, Dave had the pleasure of attending their annual Charleville festival. “Everyone in town attended, wearing their White Ribbon stickers and badges. It meant a lot to see the kids expressing they understood the issue and were proud to be part of this fantastic movement to end men’s violence against women.”
Dave felt that the local community members, students, support service workers and police all understood the importance of the White Ribbon message, and were all on-board to making change empowering their community.
“Despite the challenges with everything being so widespread out, and the barriers to getting the educational material out, to get everyone on board around the vision; overall, I felt that my trip to regional Queensland was a success. Everyone was positive, and everyone was on the same page.”
The Purple Bench project was undertaken by the Wheatbelt Youth Council (WYC) in partnership with the WA White Ribbon Committee and the WA Women’s Council in 2018.
The initiative was first launched in Nova Scotia, Canada, and saw the placement of purple benches in public parks to mark the 25th anniversary of the murder of Barbra Baillie by her husband in 1990. Known as Barb’s Benches, these memorials serve to honour the memory of women murdered by their partners and provide information for people experiencing domestic and family violence.
In WA, this awareness raising project was launched by the WA Women’s Council, but was driven by a collaboration with WYCs in Bruce Rock, Merredin, Narembeen, Mukinbudin, Nungarin, Quairading, Bencubbin, Trayning, Kununoppin and Yelbeni. Working with local Shire Councils, community groups and businesses the WYCs took the responsibility to make the benches happen, including raising funds, agreeing on where they should be placed and making the benches ready for installation. In many instances this involved partnerships with local Men’s Sheds, businesses and community groups. As a result, the benches are proudly community owned.
The initiative has been important in encouraging conversations about the issue of violence against women in rural and regional communities, and has highlighted the leading role young people can play in prevention efforts.
Purple Bench projects have also been commenced in Southern Cross and Beverley.
Indigenous Family Violence is a national issue that requires the involvement of many stakeholders across the country to overcome.
Receive 10% DISCOUNT using the code WR10 on the registration page.
The 5th annual Overcoming Indigenous Family Violence Forum (Melbourne & Perth) has partnered with Djirra and brings together representatives from government, police, legal services, not-for-profit, community organisation, and family violence support services. They all have a vital role to play in tackling indigenous family violence.
During the course of this conference and 1-day workshop, we will explore critical issues in the indigenous family violence space, including state and federal government initiatives; how frontline services are engaging in prevention, early intervention and response; building better relationships between police and local communities; hearing directly from survivors of family violence; working more effectively with perpetrators to achieve positive behaviour change and empowering indigenous communities to prevent child abuse and neglect.
In 2018, Assistant Principal and long-time White Ribbon Supporter, Kane Hillman, took on the challenge of a lifetime. When the call went out for New York Marathon participants last November, it was the perfect opportunity to get involved in the social change movement at a deeper level.
Although he’d been running for years, this was the first time Kane had the opportunity to run a marathon. And, what a marathon it was! The New York Marathon is a signature event for any avid runner, and Kane had double the incentive to sign up.
As a teacher in the South Australian Department of Education, he’d supported his school’s fundraising and awareness efforts to prevent men’s violence against women for many years. The combination of running the New York Marathon and supporting White Ribbon’s prevention work was the push Kane needed to enter the race of a lifetime. It was an opportunity not be missed out on.
“To me, White Ribbon is an incredibly important organisation. Men’s violence against women in many respects is a cultural issue. It takes organisations like White Ribbon, who boldly promote cultural shift, to have a loud voice in Australian society.”
And so, the training began. While a bit difficult at the age of 43, especially training during the cold winter months, Kane began his journey in February.
“On a long training run, when I felt like giving up, I just needed to remember the impact that organisations like White Ribbon have on changing attitudes in society and I was able to keep running that bit further.”
As with anything that is worth it, the pay-offs were great, both for Kane personally and for the school community. Kane was inspired to see his school, Brighton Secondary School, get behind him. In fact, his fundraising efforts could not have been done without the school community’s support. Their donations of time, resources and money were inspiring.
“As a male educator, I know it’s my responsibility to be part of a solution by promoting and modelling respectful relationships.”
His participation in the New York Marathon gave a common focus to many of the school’s events that year. The Brighton Community was willing to stand up and speak out for social change and their support showed.
After raising over $10,000 for our primary prevention work across Australia, Kane achieved one of his lifelong goals of running the world renowned New York Marathon. What a way to wrap up 2018!
“I would encourage anyone who has an opportunity to do something like this to grab it.”
Thank you to Kane Hillman and all our 2018 New York Marathon runners. Don’t miss your chance to participate in this year’s New York Marathon and raise funds to help fund our prevention programs in schools and communities like yours. Find out how.
White Ribbon Australia is proud to announce that Fulton Hogan Australia has partnered with White Ribbon Australia as a Corporate Sponsor, demonstrating its dedication to the prevention of men’s violence against women in Australia.
Fulton Hogan has more than 80 years’ experience in the transport, water, energy, mining, civil construction and land development infrastructure in New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific. They create communities from the ground up, starting with their own network of quarries, which is complemented by their asphalt, emulsion and precast plants across Australia and New Zealand.
“Through corporate sponsorship, White Ribbon will be supported by Fulton Hogan to deliver primary prevention initiatives that aim to stop violence before it happens, through education, awareness raising and by challenging ingrained attitudes and power inequalities that give rise to men’s violence against women,” says Fulton Hogan’s Chief Executive Officer for Australia, Nick Marinelli.
“Fulton Hogan is proud to announce that we are now a Corporate Sponsor of White Ribbon.
“Making a stand against this behaviour is a passionate cause of our well-being critical risk group and we hope to support those in need and help make a change.”
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 abuse.
Sports clubs play a powerful role in challenging disrespectful attitudes and violent behaviour towards women. Over twelve months, the new Sunshine Coast Sports ‘Speak Up Project’ will empower clubs to develop a deep understanding of the complex causes and impacts of violence against women.
The project will seek to deliver a whole of sporting community collaboration driven by the Sunshine Coast White Ribbon Committee.
Through a series of educational workshops, community engagement and ongoing support, the project provides the tools and knowledge for clubs to implement year-round strategies to build safer and more inclusive clubs and communities.
Participating clubs include:
Sunshine Coast Falcons
Maroochydore Roos Football Club
Alexandra Surf Club
Noosa Rugby Club
Sunshine Coast Lightning
Maroochydore Surf Lifesaving Club
For more information on the project, or how sports clubs can get involved with White Ribbon, please email@example.com.
While the results reveal Australia’s improving attitude towards violence against women, they also uncover some worrying trends.
Some of the positive results:
Most Australians have accurate knowledge of violence against women and do not endorse this violence.
Australians are more likely to understand that violence against women involves more than just physical violence in 2017 than they were in 2013 and 2009.
Australians are less likely to hold attitudes supportive of violence against women in 2017 than they were in 2013 and 2009.
Some of the concerning results:
A concerning proportion of Australians believe that gender inequality is exaggerated or no longer a problem.
Among attitudes condoning violence against women, the highest level of agreement was with the idea that women use claims of violence to gain tactical advantage in their relationships with men.
1 in 5 Australians would not be bothered if a male friend told a sexist joke about women.
White Ribbon Australia commend ANROWS for coordinating and producing this important data around Australians’ attitudes towards violence against women and gender equality. The important information contained in the report helps us better understand how to stop violence before it starts and change the attitudes of Australians to end this epidemic problem.
Read all the key findings and download the report at ANROWS’ website.
White Ribbon Australia would like to thank members of the Australian House of Representatives for showing their support for White Ribbon Day and standing in solidarity with survivors of gender-based violence.
Men’s violence against women is a problem for women, but it’s not a woman’s problem. Yesterday, members of Parliament highlighted the importance of men and women standing alongside one another to end violence in Australian communities.
As of November 27, 2018 63 women have been killed by violence in Australia.
Thank you to the following members for standing up and speaking out about this crucial issue:
Ms Emma Husar MP
Mr Rowan Ramsey MP
Ms Susan Lamb MP
Hon Damian Drum MP
Ms Gai Brodtmann MP
Mr Patrick Gorman MP
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.
White Ribbon Australia acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the country on which we work, the Cammeraygal people of the Eora nation. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
White Ribbon Australia recognises that the movement to prevent men’s violence against women is built on the tireless efforts of women and women-led organisations throughout history, internationally and in Australia.