Local businesses, and particularly businessmen, are being urged to help break the region’s devastating and insidious cycle of violence by men towards women.
Hunter White Ribbon Day chairman and recently retired businessman, Jon Chin, said there were practical things the business community could do.
“The perception that domestic violence is a ‘family matter’ or ‘private business’ is totally wrong,” Jon said.
“It is everybody’s business and has implications for our whole society and economy,” he said. “It is happening to your employees, friends and family members.”
“The most important thing is not to be silent; not to keep the problem hidden.”
5 things business can do to prevent violence against women
- Encourage male staff members to take the new White Ribbon oath to stand up, speak out and act to prevent men’s violence against women. They can do it privately or via www.whiteribbon.org.au
- 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 videos giving men practical tips on how they can safely step in if they see domestic violence or sexual harassment, including in the workplace.
- Demonstrate your support by attending the White Ribbon Day Breakfast or other local events.
- Report violence to authorities.
Local businesses such as the Wests Group, Newcastle Newspapers, Madden and Associates, endota spa Newcastle, Tested on Humans wines and Hunter Headline are leading the way through their support of the upcoming Hunter White Ribbon Day Breakfast on Friday, 25 November 2106.
A number of local businessmen are White Ribbon Day Ambassadors or join Jon on the local committee, including Mark Weber from Compass Housing, Steve Madden from Madden and Associates, and Public Relations Consultant Craig Eardley. The committee has also produced an A4 corflute sign that will be for sale at the breakfast for businesses to put in their window.
Jon said it was shocking and unacceptable that more than one women has died each week this year at the hands of a male partner. At this rate last year’s total of 80 could be matched or even exceeded.
— In NSW, police respond to over 140,000 incidents of domestic and family violence per year. That equates to 380 cases a day, or almost 16 an hour.
— In the Hunter, a domestic assault is reported to police every 3 hours and up to six out of every ten calls requiring police assistance are domestic violence related.
— Between 2004 and 2014, 83 children died due to family violence circumstances.
— In 2009 it was estimated violence against women and children cost the Australian economy $13.6 billion.
More than 400 people attended last year’s breakfast. This year’s breakfast speakers are White Ribbon Ambassador and former Newcastle Knight Clint Newton, and domestic violence survivor Sherynne Smith. There will also be performances by Hunter School of Performing Arts, as well as the Chakras Dancers. The theme is “You’ll never walk alone”.
Jon said he hoped the business community will join in to let victims of domestic violence know that there are people willing and able to help them and their children. He said male violence towards women is a male problem and must be addressed by men.
Proceeds go to support local domestic violence support providers and projects. #WhiteRibbonHunter
2016 Hunter White Ribbon Breakfast | 25 November 2016
IMAGE | Hunter White Ribbon Day Breakfast Committee members with the corflute sign