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By oath, Yarra’s men to say ‘no’ to violence against women
25 November 2013
Male leaders from the Yarra community have taken a public pledge to say no to violence against women as part of White Ribbon Day.
Representatives from across the community - including Councillors and Council staff – this morning swore an oath at Collingwood’s Neighbourhood Justice Centre to commemorate White Ribbon Day, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
White Ribbon Day is observed on 25 November each year to raise awareness and empower the community to take a stand against violence against women.
The day was initiated in 1991 by a small group of men and continues to encourage men to be leaders in taking action in their communities.
Yarra Mayor Cr Jackie Fristacky said the oath was a significant step towards addressing the prevalence of violence against women in Yarra.
“It is shocking that intimate partner violence is the leading contributor to death, disability and illness for women aged 15 – 44 years – higher than accidents, disease or any other injury ” Cr Fristacky said.
“Sadly, Yarra is not immune from these statistics. In 2011/12, there were 591 reported incidents of family violence in Yarra – 76% of which involved women aged between 15 and 44,” she said.
“White Ribbon Day is more than a gesture – it is an opportunity for our community to highlight this shocking statistic, and say we do not accept any action or behaviour that causes harm to women in our community.
“It is our pledge to speak out and become leaders in nurturing a community that is safe, respectful, inclusive and supportive of women.”
As well as participating in White Ribbon Day each year, Council has taken steps to raise awareness about violence against women and to promote greater equity in the community and workplace.
“Council works in partnership with community agencies to produce discreet pocket-sized help cards that provide information and resources for men, women and children in need of support to cope with family violence,” Cr Fristacky said.
“Council’s new staff Gender Equity Committee will also launch a strategy on 11 December that aims to achieve fairness and equal opportunity for men and women in our organisation.
“The strategy sets out actions that will aim to address gender issues in the workplace, including the introduction of a paid leave entitlement for staff who experience family violence,” she said.
For more information about White Ribbon Day, visit www.whiteribbon.org.au
White Ribbons can be purchased for $2 from the Richmond Town Hall, Collingwood Customer Service Centre, libraries and recreation centres and at the Neighbourhood Justice Centre in Wellington Street, Collingwood.
Acting Senior Communications Officer
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