Violence against women: Samaritans says no.

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Samaritans believes that workplaces can make a difference in stopping violence against women by encouraging a greater understanding, knowledge and action around violence prevention.

As an organisation, Samaritans has signed a White Ribbon Statement of Commitment to take active and effective steps to end violence against women.

Samaritans staff member and White Ribbon ambassador, Craig Willamson, said “we can all take active steps to ensure that we take a stand in ending violence against women. We all play an important part in ensuring that the people around us feel safe and respected”.

Violence against women is a significant human rights issue which requires all sectors of the Australian community, including workplaces, to take action. At Samaritans, our aim is to be accredited as a White Ribbon Workplace and the statement of commitment is part of this process.

“It is important that men let other men know that domestic violence is not acceptable- that it’s not okay for young boys to grow up thinking that any violence against women is justifiable. This problem can only be solved by men ceasing to hurt women. It’s a men’s issue. When we label it a women’s issue, the responsibility upon men to resolve it is removed,” Craig said.

Nearly two women lose their lives every week in Australia to domestic violence. As a community, we can no longer accept this. The overwhelming majority of these crimes are committed by men.

“Our children and women should feel safe at home, if not in the community, so we need to act, not stand by because we don’t want to challenge the thoughts of the men we interact with. There has not been a better application of the quote ‘if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem’,” Craig said.

Samaritans currently offers a number of services that support women escaping Domestic Violence. In our work on the Mid-North Coast we provide flexible brokerage support to assist women and children.

Craig has suggested some simple ideas that we can all take on board to help support the cause:

  • Letting people, particularly men know that you and your workplace are not passive when it comes to domestic violence;
  • Saying something when men make jokes about hitting women, it doesn’t need to be confrontational, just “that’s not funny mate”;
  • Share your values with young men, that violence is not ok; and
  • Reporting domestic violence.

Samaritans is working toward White Ribbon Workplace accreditation by 15 April, 2016.

If you need help, the Domestic Violence Hotline provides 24 hour support and referral service: Ph 1800 65 64 63. If you are in immediate danger, please call 000.