Local charity, the Samaritans Foundation recently celebrated its accreditation as a White Ribbon Workplace.
Samaritans is the only Hunter-based workplace to be accredited by White Ribbon thus far, leading the way locally in taking a stand against violence against women.
CEO of the Samaritans, Peter Gardiner said Samaritans is proud of the announcement and the commitment of the business to gender equality.
“Samaritans has been acknowledged as an employer taking active and effective steps to stop violence against women,” Peter said.
“We are very excited about this announcement and will continue to stand by our commitment toward true gender equality, which means that we will never tolerate violence.”
White Ribbon Australia’s Workplace Accreditation Program is a world first program that provides organisations with the tools to be able to respond to incidents of violence, whether it occurs inside or outside the workplace, and to prevent this violence from occurring in the first instance.
“The accreditation process has been a long and involved one. It has included training and surveying all of our staff, embedding White Ribbon prevention strategies across Samaritans workplaces and hosting events to raise awareness for the cause,” Peter said.
“Samaritans has at present approximately 770 staff, with over 600 being women. Statistics tell us that 1 in 4 women is a victim of domestic violence and so with a high percentage of female stuff, we see it as being incredibly important to empower Samaritan’s staff and volunteers to prevent workplace violence against women before it occurs.”
Over the past two years, three Samaritans staff members have become Ambassadors following a rigorous selection program and a further 370 staff pledged their commitment to end violence against women by taking the White Ribbon Oath.
“Samaritans is proud of the commitment and persistence of its staff to ensure women’s safety is a man’s issue too,” Peter said.
“We will continue to walk the talk with our accreditation towards ensuring that we continue to provide safe environments for women to work and speaking out about injustices within our community.”
Samaritans is a regional welfare agency providing disability services, disability care, youth, family, mental health and community support in Newcastle and several regions of NSW.