STOP is the theme of this year’s White Ribbon Day on November 25, which includes a guide to help men safely intervene when they witness disrespect, abuse or violence against women.
The “STOP Kit” will be championed by the nation’s Police Commissioners, federal politicians and high-profile White Ribbon ambassadors, including musician Reece Mastin.
White Ribbon Australia is also calling on all men to take a stand against disrespectful behaviour and all acts of violence against women.
STOP stands for:
- See (Know the signs and pay attention because your actions are important in helping to stop violence against women)
- Talk (Words are part of disrespectful and abusive behaviour but words can also help stop abuse and prevent violence against women – speak up if you witness abusive behaviour)
- Offer support (Intervening doesn’t mean putting yourself in danger - call the police, offer a ride home, offer to safely intervene)
- Prevent (Think about what you can do every day to promote respect towards women, educate yourself and learn the signs of disrespect and abusive behaviour and don’t be afraid to talk about it with friends)
Sydney Kings basketball star Jeromie Hill, comedian and author Marty Wilson, along with the general manager of the Rugby League Players Association, Clint Newton, are among those who are featured in the ad campaign and have taken the pledge to act on behalf of their wives, partners, mothers, daughters, sisters and all women.
Mr Newton said when he was younger he struggled to deal with seeing his female friends impacted by domestic violence and abuse.
He admits that calling out men and boys he came into contact with who didn’t respect women and girls was challenging, took courage and some friendships ended as a result.
If he could give his younger self some advice, Mr Newton would say; “don’t wait for anyone to tell you you’re ready, that day may never come. Speak up, even if your voice shakes. Women and girls of the past, present and future are relying on you. Do it now.”
Research shows that people are more likely to take action if the woman being assaulted was a known person (98 per cent) rather than a stranger (92 per cent).
“White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for Australian men to pledge their determination to act in all instances where disrespect and violence against women occurs,” White Ribbon CEO Libby Davies said.
“It is critical that all men understand that they are individually responsible for starting important conversations and act to raise awareness with their peers, as these are conversations which could be lifesaving.”
On average, one woman is killed every week in Australia by domestic violence.
Mr Newton encourages all men to take action with him.
“Don’t stand by and do nothing, nothing is not an option,” he said.
“Take the oath, talk to your mates, be an active bystander, and participate in an event.
“Your future self and many others are counting on you.”
Our own Hunter Valley Local Area Command is also playing its role.
From 10am, on Monday, November 27, the March Against Violence will leave the Muswellbrook Police Station and venture to the Muswellbrook Library for a minute’s silence and the opening of the Love Bites art exhibition.
White Ribbon Day aims to create a nation that respects women and one in which every woman lives in safety, free from all forms of abuse.
Take the White Ribbon Day oath to stop violence against women below.