Businesses can and must help stop violence against women and there is help for them to do so says local White Ribbon Day Ambassador and the Chair of the region’s White Ribbon Day Breakfast Committee.
Jon Chin, who is also the 2016 Newcastle Business Club’s Business Person of the Year, says by seeing, talking about, offering support and taking preventative steps (stop), business leaders can help end this insidious scourge in our community. He says violence against women is almost always perpetrated by men so it is a male problem to solve.
“Businesses need to have a respectful culture towards women and help the men in their workforce to know what they can do to prevent violence against women,” Jon says.
“As business leaders, it isn’t enough to not be violent ourselves, given the horrifying statistics and cost to the community, we must all take steps to eliminate violence towards women.”
Jon says Hunter organisations can sign up to the White Ribbon workplace accreditation program. Accredited workplaces meet 15 criteria under three standards to create a safer and more respectful workplace.
At the breakfast, corflute signs will be sold for businesses to put in workplace windows to show support for an end to violence towards women. Below are five other things businesses can do.
- Encourage male staff members to take the White Ribbon oath to stand up, speak out and act to prevent men’s violence against women. They can do it privately or via the White Ribbon website.
- Have a policy or guidelines on supporting staff who are victims of domestic violence, including providing personal details on their whereabouts and security arrangements if an offender comes to a victim’s workplace.
- Use the White Ribbon resources to educate staff on how to safely intervene if they see violence or sexual harassment, including in the workplace. White Ribbon Australia has developed the STOP kit to give men practical suggestions on how they can play their part in eliminating violence towards women.
- Support White Ribbon events.
- Report violence to authorities.
A number of local businesses are supporting the upcoming Hunter White Ribbon Day Breakfast on November 24. Compass Housing is again the major sponsor.
Compass’ Group Managing Director Greg Budworth says social and affordable housing is integral to helping women to escape violence.
The Owner of video production company Thirty3South Films, Owen Burns, is donating the creation of an awareness video for men to know how to safely respond when they know of violence occurring.
Other businesses showing support include Wests Group, Helloworld Travel, Newcastle Newspapers, Madden and Associates, endota spas Newcastle and Kotara, Yogic Wisdom, PRDnationwide Newcastle & Lake Macquarie, PRDnationwide Hunter Valley, Blue Water Sailing and Hunter Headline.
Dr Angela Jay is guest speaker at the breakfast. She was doused in petrol and stabbed 11 times by a man she met on the dating app Tinder. A panel consisting of representatives of the service providers who responded to Ms Jay and supported her after her ordeal (ambulance, police social worker) will join Dr Jay in discussing the issues surrounding violence towards women in the community. Emcee for the event will be White Ribbon Day Ambassador and former Newcastle Knight, Clint Newton.
John says violence towards women is a major social issue for the Hunter region and the rest of Australia. It costs the Australian economy more than $14 billion a year including through lost productivity.
More than 400 people attended last year’s breakfast. Proceeds from this year’s event will go to Hunter-based charity Got Your Back Sista to support its work in helping women experiencing domestic violence.
IMAGE | Local White Ribbon Day Ambassador and the Chair of the region’s White Ribbon Day Breakfast Committee, Jon Chin.