Businesses, and businessmen in particular, have a role in helping people to take a stand against violence towards women according to the Hunter businessman and White Ribbon Day Ambassador Jon Chin.
Jon said during White Ribbon Day (November 25) men are asked to take a stand against violence by men against women. He said businesses should take a leading role too by educating the members of their male workforce on what they can do and have a zero tolerance for the carrying out or condoning of violence against women in workplaces.
He commended the many businessmen and organisations who had already taken a stand and supported White Ribbon. Businessmen and business leaders including Paul Hankinson, Richard Anicich, Keith Stronach, John Church, Chad Watson, Richard Jones, Todd Williams, Don Magin, Stephen Madden, Jeff Shakespeare and Don MacAskill have joined him in publicly taking the White Ribbon oath in advertisements donated by the Newcastle Herald.
Hexham Bowling Club and Maitland-based surveying and project management group Madden had generously donated funds to allow 70 high school students to attend the upcoming Hunter White Ribbon Day breakfast which is also being subsidised by Wests Group.
Pro bono promotional support for White Ribbon has been provided by local PR practitioner Craig Eardley and John Church Advertising.
The WHITE RIBBON OATH is “I swear: never to commit violence against women, never to excuse violence against women, and never to remain silent about violence against women. This is my oath.”
“Violence against women takes many forms including physical, emotional and sexual harassment,” Jon said.
“The amount of violence is staggering and is costing women and children as well as businesses and the economy,” he said.
“We owe it to our female staff to do something.”
5 things business can do
- Attend a White Ribbon Day event. The Hunter Breakfast is on Tuesday, 25 November at 7am at West Leagues. Bookings here.
- Encourage male staff members to take the pledge to never commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women. They can do it privately or online.
- Make sure you 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.
- Educate staff on how to safely intervene if they see violence. White Ribbon has produced four “Hey mate, here’s what you can do” videos giving men practical tips on how they can safely step in if they see domestic violence or sexual harassment including in the workplace.
- Wear a white ribbon. Ribbons can be purchased at White Ribbon events and from Masters, Suzanne Grae or Salvation Army NSW stores from November 11-28.
The shocking statistics on violence against women
- Domestic violence costs Australia’s economy nearly $14 billion a year
- One in five women has experienced sexual harassment in the workplace
- More than 350,000 Australian women over the age of 15 are subject to some form of violence during their lifetime
- Domestic violence is the leading cause of death and injury among women under 45 years of age
- Police responded to more than 13,000 domestic violence incidents in the past 12 months, about 38 a day. Most are violence by men against women.
- Domestic violence accounts for 40 per cent of the time spent by general duties Police officers.
- At least one woman is murdered by her current or former partner every week in Australia
White Ribbon Day is an international day for men to work with women to end violence against women. It was started in Canada in the early 1990s to remember the deaths of 14 women who were massacred by a man at a technical college in Montreal. People who know someone who is experiencing violence that need support should phone 1800 RESPECT. In an emergency call police on 000.