Australia’s campaign to stop violence against women – White Ribbon Day 2015

Published on
November 25, 2015

On average in Australia, two women are killed a week as a result of violence …

Every three hours a woman presents to hospital with an injury from violence …

Indigenous women are 38 times more likely to be hospitalised as a result of violence …

One in four children in our community have experienced violence …

These were the alarming statistics presented on screen during a minute silence at the third annual Queensland Supreme Court Breakfast in support of White Ribbon Day this week.

The violence referred to is not that of a random act by strangers, but domestic violence perpetrated by men, against women and children at home.

Australia is not alone in making up statistics like these. The World Health Organisation report Global and regional estimates of violence against women: Prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence, states that intimate partner violence is the most common type of violence against women and affects 30% of women worldwide.

White Ribbon is Australia’s only national, male-led campaign to end men’s violence against women, and globally it is the world’s largest male-led movement for the same cause. Originating in Canada in 1991, White Ribbon is now active in more than 60 countries.

White Ribbon Australia observes the International Day of the Elimination of Violence against Women, on November 25. The day signals the start of the 16 Days of Activism to Stop Violence against Women, which ends on international Human Rights Day (December 10).

One of the main issues women face when trapped in an abusive relationship is how or where to turn to get help. In Queensland, Women’s Legal Service (WLS) is one such organisation that provides a free legal aid service to counsel women faced with this potentially life-threatening situation.

Like many charitable organisations, its funding is dependent on government grants, donations fundraising events and pro-bono support (predominantly through legal advice provided by some of the most established and respected national law firms).

WLS is the principal beneficiary of the Supreme Court Breakfast White Ribbon Day event, and as a result of the contribution made by those attending this year’s sold-out breakfast, $83,000 was raised to go towards its new Help Line, which is estimated will provide assistance to 700% more women in need of legal guidance and support.

As part of Rowland’s Helping Hand program, we have been delighted over the past two years to assist in spreading the Women’s Legal Service message, through the creation and production of their video appeals.

This year, Rowland was approached by McCullough Robertson to produce an overarching message of support for White Ribbon. Supported by Kristie Fankhauser at Kanvas4, 13 of Brisbane’s most respected business and community leaders swore their oath to stand up, speak out and act to prevent men’s violence against women … we were delighted to be able to contribute in a small way towards addressing a huge issue.

Lance Hockridge, CEO, Aurizon @Aurizon_

Dominic McGann, Chairman of Partners, McCullough Robertson #McCulloughRobertson

Geoff Rodgers, Chairman, Rowland @rowland_au

Stephen Tait, CEO, Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland @stephenatait

Damian Frawley, CEO, QIC #QueenslandInvestmentCorporation

Paul McLean, CEO, Savills Australia @SavillsAus

Dave Stewart, Director-General, Department of the Premier and Cabinet # Dave Stewart, Director General, Department of the Premier and Cabinet

Richard Wankmuller, CEO and Managing Director, Cardno @Cardno

Zimi Meka, CEO, Ausenco @Ausenco

Dr Michael Carroll, Principal, St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace @GregoryTerrace1

Todd MacDonald, CEO and Artistic Director, LaBoite Theatre Company @tmacD12

David Cant, CEO, Brisbane Housing Company #brisbanehousingcompany

The Right Hon. The Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Councillor Graham Quirk @Team_Quirk

@wlsq @WhiteRibbonAust @Kristie_eff @qldlawsociety @BenRobertsSmith