White Ribbon Day
Today is White Ribbon Day, a national day to raise awareness about domestic violence and violence against women.
On average, one woman every week is murdered by a current or former partner in Australia. So far this year, at least 63 women have died as a result of gender based violence.
This issue is reaching crisis point, with not enough being done to support women and protect them from the dangers of violent or aggressive partners. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that 21 people have been stabbed, set alight, strangled and bashed to death in domestic and family violence incidents across NSW this year. Police respond to an average of 400 domestic violence related call-outs every day.
White Ribbon Day (23 November) marks the beginning of an annual escalation of domestic violence incidents in the lead up to the Christmas period. Last year, the December rate peaked by more than 40%, compared to the June average.
From next year, NSW public sector employees have won the right to take up to 10 days paid domestic violence leave. The IEU supports this NSW Government decision and urges other employers to follow suite. More funding is also needed in crisis accommodation centres, counselling and support services, and for accessible legal representation.
Domestic violence and gendered violence is a cultural and societal issue, and more needs to be done to break the cycles of behaviour that perpetuate across generations. Education is a key factor in this.
Initiatives like White Ribbon Day play a useful role raising awareness and starting difficult but necessary conversations.
For more information, visit https://www.whiteribbon.org.au