These are but a few of the sobering and unacceptable statistics relating to violence against women in Australian society. As a means to eliminate this, White Ribbon Australia is dedicated to educating and changing our behaviours, particularly of men.
It is for that reason White Ribbon is asking men to grab their mates and take their pledge to prevent violence against women. It is not enough anymore to say that you don’t hit women. Men must get involved and not tolerate language and behaviour around them that helps to perpetuate this violence.
St Kevin’s Primary School, Cardiff, has stood up and answered the call by holding a “Breaking the Silence” launch.
The day began with a sausage sizzle while staff sold White Ribbon merchandise. Later, the staff conducted a ceremony explaining the importance of the event to the students and signed their names on a large white ribbon. Men in the audience were welcomed to participate, gathering a large group of fathers and grandfathers of the students together to make their pledge.
“If we can help just one family in our school, that’s a success! We know through our Kids Matter and Making Jesus Real program, we have children and parents out there who live with domestic violence, so this is why it is important for us.
“It is a generational change, we have to start from kindergarten to teach boys that it is not okay to put women down, to be violent towards women; we have to encourage our boys to protect women and support women and we have to empower our girls as well,” said principal, Mary-Anne Jennings.
The Assistant Principal, Glen Rooke stated the aim of the launch, “is to create real generational change to stop violence against women in Australia. Schools that complete “Breaking the Silence” are recognised as White Ribbon schools, becoming a strong symbol of a safe, equitable workplace and vehicle for community change”.
Those who wish to support the critical work of White Ribbon Australia in the prevention of men’s violence against women can also make a tax deductible donation here.
Alternatively, they may host their own White Ribbon event to raise awareness in the community as well as funds to support primary prevention initiatives. Events can be registered here.
If you are experiencing violence or suspect someone else is, please contact 1800 RESPECT for advice and support. In an emergency, call the police on 000.
The definitions and statistics in this article come from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2013.