EVENTS CAN BE FOUND HERE http://www.whiteribbon.org.au/events
All women live in safety free from all forms of men’s violence.
Making women’s safety a man’s issue too.
Globally, White Ribbon is the world’s largest male-led movement to end men’s violence against women. Originating in Canada in 1991, White Ribbon is now active in more than 60 countries.
White Ribbon Australia observes the International Day of the Elimination of Violence against Women, also known as White Ribbon Day, annually on November 25. White Ribbon Day signals the start of the 16 Days of Activism to Stop Violence against Women, which ends on Human Rights Day (December 10).
Thousands march in Melbourne against family violence amid calls for health officials to do more
One woman is killed by a violent partner each week in Australia.
Two of the leading figures in the fight against family violence, Victorian Police Commissioner Ken Lay and Rosie Batty, led more than 1,000 people through the streets of Melbourne today in a march to stop violence against women.
On the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Mr Lay said Australia could not arrest its way out of the situation.
“I think that for far too long family violence and resolving family violence has been left in the hands of police,” he said.
“We cannot simply arrest our way out of this. We need to change attitudes, it’s in the schooling, it’s in families.
“Clearly, fathers and mothers have got a responsibility to teach their children about gender inequity, teach their children to treat each other decently.
“They are partly responsible for this, no doubt.”
There were also calls for doctors and health officials to do much more to stop family violence, with new research published in The Lancet.
Professor Kelsey Hegarty, who co-authored the Lancet paper, is a GP and the head of primary care at the University of Melbourne’s Department of General Practice.
She said the health system needed to be more focussed and streamlined when it came to addressing family violence.
“What we’re really looking for health professionals to do is provide a first line response that listens, validates, acknowledges what women and girls have been through in terms of violence against women and provides them with a pathway to safety and healing,” she said.
“To do that we need to strengthen the role of the health sector.”
Health sector ‘lacks awareness, training’ in family violence
In January 2013 Professor Hegarty called for GPs to be trained to recognise signs of domestic violence.
Since then, she said the health system had been slow to recognise the need for change.
“I think there’s been a large movement in the awareness in community campaigns with the development of Our Watch and other activities through White Ribbon,” she said.
“So I think people are becoming more aware that domestic violence or family violence is a problem in our community.
“What we haven’t found is the health sector responding.
We haven’t got very large awareness as a result of a lack of training among health care providers.Professor Kelsey Hegarty
“We haven’t got regular training or supervisional mentorship in medical nursing or public health or other curricular on a regular basis.
“We haven’t got very large awareness as a result of a lack of training among health care providers.”
Professor Hegarty said substantial system and behavioural barriers existed in the health system.
“We haven’t got an enabling policy environment,” she said.
The Lancet paper examined five country case studies, including India and Spain, and how they responded and dealt with family violence.
Professor Hegarty said developing low-income countries such as India had made progress in addressing family violence in conjunction with their HIV-AIDs strategy.
“In fact, it’s been interesting to look at people who have done violence interventions attached to health interventions for HIV,” she said.
“That’s been showing some promise in a way we haven’t had those epidemics like that, and therefore I think health has been a little bit behind.”
She said Australia had a large focus on the national plan, which has been excellent to prevent violence against women and children.
“(But) it needs a whole spectrum across the ecological model from the community,” she added.
“(An) ecological model goes from a community to an individual, and often a health practitioner is seeing someone at an individual level. We need everybody to be activated.”
White Ribbon Day sparks more than 1,000 events across Australia in campaign against domestic violence
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has praised the involvement of Australia’s military in White Ribbon Day, saying it sends a signal that strong men protect others and do not condone domestic violence.
Speaking at a White Ribbon Day function in Canberra, Mr Abbott said shocking statistics associated with domestic violence crimes prompted the Government to allocate $100 million as part of an action plan to combat violence against women.
“It’s really good to see the participation of our armed forces in White Ribbon Day … because the presence of our armed forces, the presence of our police is a sign that tough, strong men protect others, they don’t persecute them. That the toughest and the strongest men are peacemakers, not brutes,” he said.
“Every week a woman dies somewhere in our country in a domestic context. One woman in three will experience violence at some stage of her life.
“One woman in five will experience sexual violence at some stage in her life. It’s just wrong. It must stop,” he said.
“Government has a role to play, that’s why this Government is investing some $100 million in our Second Action Plan to combat violence against women.”
Army chief Lieutenant-General David Morrison told a White Ribbon breakfast in Adelaide stories about the ANZAC spirit also needed a greater focus on the women who were involved.
He said many stories about World War I focused on stories about Anglo Saxon men.
“Unless they’re (women) included in the story, I think what we run the risk of is compounding this idea that Australia is a man’s country, a man’s world, where men get ahead,” he said.
“Men are promoted on their potential, women are only ever promoted on their proven performance. I don’t think we’re going to progress as a nation if that’s the case.”
Luke Batty death brought issue home for victims
White Ribbon ambassador John Caldwell told the ABC’s Breakfast program the tragic death of 11-year-old Luke Batty at the hands of his father earlier this year had brought the issue to the forefront of people’s minds.
“When I saw his (Luke’s) photo and I thought, ‘that could have been me,’ and never before have I really thought of myself as one of the lucky ones, but that made me feel like I was one of the lucky ones,” Mr Caldwell said.
Mr Caldwell was nominated as Australian of the Year for Victoria in 2014 and said the nomination of Luke’s mother Rosie Batty for Australian of the Year in 2015 helped to highlight why the issue of domestic violence should be taken seriously.
It is about men leading the action because most of this violence against women is perpetrated by men, and so men need to be speaking to their mates and using their influence to change those attitudes and behaviours.White Ribbon chief executive Libby Davies.
“I grew up in Melbourne in a house that was plagued by domestic violence,” he said.
“I guess as a kid hiding under the bed I always felt so helpless and now as an adult, I don’t need to. I get to take back the power that I lost as a kid, but also to educate other children that you don’t have to stay silent yourself.
“Even for kids, there are people you can talk to. As a child, hiding under a bed hearing screams outside and not sure what you will find when you eventually walk out – I used to liken it to, as the eye of a cyclone. It would go quiet. Is it safe to go out? And then it erupts again.”
Mr Caldwell said nobody came to help despite people knowing what was happening and White Ribbon Day was about breaking that silence.
“It was known what was going on outside of the house and nobody would do anything, and that’s why White Ribbon Day is so important, because it is a male-led campaign,” he said.
White Ribbon chief executive Libby Davies said more than 1,000 events would be held across Australia to promote White Ribbon Day, including a walk through Melbourne’s CBD by members of both the Melbourne and Richmond Football Clubs as part of the Walk Against Family Violence.
“It is about men leading the action because most of this violence against women is perpetrated by men, and so men need to be speaking to their mates and using their influence to change those attitudes and behaviours,” she said.
NSW Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Murdoch said several hundred people, mostly men, had marched from Randwick to Coogee in Sydney’s east in an event co-hosted with Randwick Council this morning.
He said those present, including many police officers, pledged an oath to help reduce violence against women.
“The oath is all about never ever condoning or committing acts of violence against women in any form. It’s about having those conversations with men acting as role models for other men,” he said.
Assistant Commissioner Murdoch said domestic violence cases were the single biggest crime police attended.
Phone app hidden function to protect domestic violence victims
In a bid to help protect victims of domestic violence, a free Australian mobile phone app was been launched in time for White Ribbon Day.
Buzz News looks like a regular news app on a mobile phone, but has a hidden function that allows people to secretly contact friends and call for help.
Developed by the Lisa Harnum Foundation, the app was named after the woman who was murdered by her partner Simon Gittany in Sydney in 2011.
Foundation executive director Aileen Mountifield said the phone app could save lives.
“If a perpetrator is used to checking his partner’s phone all that will come up is news, entertainment news, sports news, local news, national news,” she said.
“So that’s a deterrent hopefully that he won’t go to the help button because under the help button she would have stored her safe contacts, so if in distress all she has to do is open the app and press send.”