Editorial November 23 2017

Stand up, speak out and act.

That is the strong message in the lead-up to White Ribbon Day, which will be recognised around the country on Friday, November 25. 

It is also recognised as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

People of Australia are being asked to take the White Ribbon oath which simply states: “I will stand up, speak out and act to prevent men’s violence against women”.

The campaign is based around the key elements of STOP _

See: Know the signs, be a witness, don’t ignore

Talk: Challenge comments, ask questions, start a conversation

Offer: Calling the police, let people know that action will be taken, get help, offer to safely intervene. Offer to listen and be open to providing support.

Prevent: Educate, change behaviour, promote respect.

This campaign helps raise funds, but more importantly awareness of the issue of domestic abuse.

The stark reality is one in three women have experienced physical or sexual violence from someone known to them.

Every week, on average, one woman in this country is killed by domestic violence.

There are a range of activities happening around the region to highlight the cause.

Schools such as Albion Park and Woonona High will hold events, while a walk will be held in Wollongong to remember the victims who have died as a result of domestic violence.

The Housing Trust should also be congratulated for becoming the first business in the Illawarra to be awarded White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation  recognising leadership in domestic violence prevention and response.

The accreditation demonstrates the Housing Trust is a safe, respectful and supportive workplace which has benefits for its clients, the broader community and their staff.

There are a variety of services on offer you can turn to in this country for support.

Here are just some of them: Lifeline – 24/7 service lifeline.org.au 131114, Relationships Australia 1300 364 277 and the Sexual Assault Crisis Line 1800 806 292.

For details of individual State and Territory services or resources please visit whiteribbon.org.au.

But most of all this White Ribbon Day, say STOP.