Men’s violence against women is not just a women’s issue. It’s a social issue. It’s everybody’s issue. It’s a men’s issue because it is their wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, friends and colleagues whose lives are being harmed by violence and abuse.
November 25 is International Day of the Elimination of Violence against Women, known as White Ribbon Day in Australia. It recognises the strong social change movement engaging men in the prevention of violence against women. White Ribbon is a vehicle for driving awareness, engaging and up-skilling the community in primary prevention to stop violence against women.
This year’s campaign, it’s #AMansIssueToo, reinforces the role men play in ending violence against women, in their community and beyond. White Ribbon deploys a range of primary prevention initiatives, including behaviour change programs in schools, workplaces and the broader community.
With one in three women having experienced physical and/or sexual abuse perpetrated by someone known to them, and at least one woman killed every week as a result of domestic violence,  this is a devastating problem in Australia. It is destroying our families, health and community. Whether it occurs in or beyond the workplace, it impacts on the health, wellbeing and safety of colleagues and it impacts negatively on workplace culture, productivity, reputation and bottom-line profit and loss.
We all need to speak out against men’s violence against women. Silence and inaction will let this violence continue. While it can be uncomfortable and hard to know what to say and how to act, we all have a role to play because violence against women is everyone’s issue.
What can you do?
- Make a donation online to support our prevention work to stop men’s violence against women before it starts.
- Host a White Ribbon event in the workplace or amongst your friends and family. For example, morning teas, competitions, fun runs.
- Sell or purchase White Ribbon merchandise, such as ribbons and wristbands.
- Sign up to Workplace Giving to provide valuable ongoing support.
- Take the oath and join the thousands of men who have already taken ‘the oath’ for the women in their lives.
I ask you to join us and all the communities across Australia this White Ribbon Day, to stand up, speak out and act to prevent violence against women.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence:
- In an emergency call the police on 000
- Call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) to speak with a trained counsellor from the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence Counselling Service
- Access online counselling at 1800respect.org.au
Telstra is a proud supporter of White Ribbon. As a White Ribbon accredited workplace, we will continue to take active steps to stop violence against women including advocating on the issue. Telstra launched the Safe Connections Program in 2014. We work with the Federal Government and Women’s Services Network (WESNET) to deliver the Safe Connections program, which provides safe smartphones and technology safety information for women experiencing domestic violence. This week the program received a bronze award in the community-led category of the 2016 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards (ACVPA).
Telstra’s Family and Domestic Violence Support Policy launched in November 2014. Telstra provides support for people experiencing family and domestic violence, including additional paid leave and internal and external support services.
In line with White Ribbon as a male-led campaign, our inclusion program, ‘Men’s Responsibility for Gender Equality’, encourages men at Telstra to stand up beside women to lead gender equality at Telstra.
 Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2013). Personal Safety, Australia, 2012