White Ribbon

7 Nov 2014

The statistics are horrifying. In Australia one in three women will experience physical and/or sexual violence by someone known to them. On average, one woman will die every week as a result of violence from a partner. One in five women will experience harassment in the workplace. Domestic and family violence is the principal cause of homelessness for women and their children. A woman is most likely to be killed by her male partner in her home.

The awful truth is that every single one of us either knows a woman and/or has worked with a woman that has experienced violence, has experienced violence ourselves – or both.

White Ribbon is Australia’s only national, male led campaign to end men’s violence against women.

Defence is proud of its ongoing association with the White Ribbon Campaign. In June 2014, Navy became Australia’s largest organisation to complete the program and receive White Ribbon Accreditation. Many of Defence’s senior leaders are White Ribbon Ambassadors, including the Chief of the Defence Force ACM Binskin, Vice Chief of the Defence Force VADM Griggs, the Chief of Navy VADM Barrett, the Chief of Army LTGEN Morrison, and the Chief of Air Force AM Brown.

In August 2014, ACMC and the Australian Army committed to the White Ribbon Campaign and achieved the first step of Recognition at the end of October 2014. The Royal Australian Air Force commenced the program in November 2014.

ACMC is particularly proud to be part of White Ribbon, not only because it reflects Defence’s core values and expectations, but it also accords with some of ACMC’s key projects and publications, including: Side by Side, Women, Peace and Security; Gendered Crises, Gendered Responses; and Conflict-related Sexual and Gender-based Violence.

Participation in the White Ribbon Campaign is an on-going commitment, with Accreditation taking 12 months or more to obtain. Achieving Accreditation requires an organisation to train, support, and empower staff to ensure a zero tolerance for violence, and that any violence, inside or outside the workplace, is responded to appropriately. Once Accreditation is awarded, an organisation still needs to demonstrate its ongoing commitment, and apply for re-accreditation after three years.

This is why the program makes a difference, because it requires organisations to make fundamental and lasting changes that will ultimately result in a culture that will not tolerate violence. The White Ribbon Campaign is about recognising the positive role that men play in preventing violence against women, and fosters and encourages male leadership in the prevention of violence. Australian society, for good reasons, respects its Defence Forces. With an organisation like the ADF, which is 86% male, supporting White Ribbon, it is capable of influencing Australian culture.

ACMC is committed to the White Ribbon Campaign, and to ensuring that the organisation embodies and promotes a zero tolerance of any violence against any individual – whether the violence is perpetuated by a family member, a same-sex partner or against any gender.

ACMC would like to encourage other organisations to become involved with the White Ribbon Campaign. Limited places are still available, with enrolments open three times a year – March, July and November. The program’s popularity means that places fill quickly. Interested organisations should email workplaces@whiteribbon.org.au for further information.

Please remember White Ribbon Day on 25 November 2014.