White Ribbon Gears Up
13 November 2017
LOCAL residents are being encouraged to take action to help stem the incidence of domestic violence.
In the lead up to International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November, Inverell will be hosting a training workshop to raise awareness among males and also a community White Ribbon march on 23 November.
Inverell Shire Council mayor Paul Harmon says Council is implementing a White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation Program that Inverell and other communities can use to demonstrate their commitment to ending violence against women.
“The White Ribbon campaign is based on five pillars, which includes raising community awareness and empowering both men and women to do something about it”.
A two-hour Bystander Training session will be held this Thursday, 16 November at Inverell Library to help people to stand up, speak out and act.
The session for men will explore different types of violence and discuss ways that men can be role models and leaders in the community modelling respect to other men, their families and friends.
White Ribbon Australia’s Liam Dooley says sometimes it can be difficult to know what to say when someone makes an inappropriate statement about women or behaves inappropriately towards a woman.
“Bystander training provides men with practical tips and tools for speaking out”, Mr Dooley added.
Cr Harmon says the training follows a community survey in March which indicated most of us would like to do something about stopping domestic and family violence in our community but almost 1 in 5 of us are not sure what to do.
“Attending the bystander training session on Thursday is a great place to start. Domestic and family violence is a society problem, not an individual one.”
“We all need to know how we can change own behaviour by saying or doing something different.
”Chair of the New England Violence Prevention Initiative Susan Heyman says Inverell has made some great progress with the White Ribbon Community project to date and the time is right to shift gears and turn our words into action.
“It sounds so simple to just ‘say something or do something’ but we know it’s not. Importantly we want to make sure that anyone that does stand ups or speaks out about violence does so safely”, Ms Heyman said.
The bystander training is open to all males and starts 12.30pm at the Inverell Library, 55-59 Campbell Street, Inverell on Thursday 16 November 2017. Contact Inverell Shire Council for further information on (02) 6728 8288.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800respect.org.au for information and support.
For further information contact:
Hunter New England Health – Strategic Relations and Communication, phone 02 4985 5522
Inverell Shire Council – Stephen Golding, phone 02 6728 8288