West Wimmera Shire Council will help to raise awareness of men's violence against women by participating in events to mark White Ribbon Day on Monday 27 November. In a united stand against domestic violence, council is demonstrating its commitment to the Act@Work principles that form part of the Council Plan 2017-21.
"Violence against women is at epidemic proportions. Devastatingly, over 12 months, on average, one woman is killed every week in Australia as a result of intimate partner violence," Council's Chief Executive Officer David Leahy said. Murder is at the pointy end of a broad spectrum of violence against women. A spectrum that encompasses financial, verbal, emotional, psychological, physical and sexual abuse, as well as workplace harassment. They all form part of a devastating cycle of violence.
And the women lost are not just statistics – they are wives, mothers, daughters, grand-daughters, sisters, aunts, nieces, friends and colleagues. Most importantly, they are people, and the impact of the violence perpetrated against them is widespread and long-standing. "Violence against women is never a private issue. Council is holding these events to help break the silence around violence, to raise awareness of the issue as well as funds to support work to bring violence against women to an end", explained Mr Leahy.
Act@Work is an organisation-wide program to enable people to stand up against the various forms of violence against women. By shining a light on the problem and providing training on this issue, it empowers people to not just stand by when they are witness to inappropriate behaviour towards women, but to take action.
Workplaces have the potential to influence both their internal cultures and the communities which surround them. By changing policies, practices and culture, an organisation can not only change from within, but also have an impact in communities, serve as an example for other organisations, influence wider policy and inform community norms.
Mr Leahy commends Council staff for taking up this fight. "The commitment to the Act@Work principles, open approach taken by Council staff to the content of the training program and that all staff agree violence of any kind is something that does not belong in our community, shows a maturity of the workforce in West Wimmera."
Those who wish to support the critical work of White Ribbon Australia in the prevention of violence against women can also make a tax deductible donation at www.whiteribbon.org.au/donate.
If you are experiencing violence or suspect someone else is, please contact 1800 RESPECT for advice and support. In an emergency, call the police on 000.
David Leahy, Chief Executive Officer | West Wimmera Shire Council | 03 5585 9900 | firstname.lastname@example.org