Our Say: Just say STOP on this White Ribbon Day

Stand up, speak out and act.

That is the strong message in the lead-up to White Ribbon Day, which will be recognised around the nation on Friday, November 25. 

It is also recognised as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

People of Australia are being asked to take the White Ribbon oath which simply states: “I will stand up, speak out and act to prevent men’s violence against women”.

The campaign is based around the key elements of STOP –

See: Know the signs, be a witness, don’t ignore

Talk: Challenge comments, ask questions, start a conversation

Offer: Calling the police, let people know that action will be taken, get help, offer to safely intervene. Offer to listen and be open to providing support.

Prevent: Educate, change behaviour, promote respect.

This campaign helps raise funds, but more importantly awareness of the issue of domestic abuse.

The stark reality is one in three women have experienced physical or sexual violence from someone known to them.

Every week, on average, one woman in this country is killed by domestic violence.

There are a range of activities happening around the region to highlight the cause.

They are relevant to the entire community and should be supported by as many residents in our region as possible. Orana needs to send the message strongly.

Unfortunately, several centres in our region have an unacceptably high rate of domestic violence offences.

Rankings for those centres consistently feature in the worst 20 spots for domestic violence in NSW.

The reality of the issue is that one incident of violence is one too many.

White Ribbon ambassadors reiterate the message: men must take an active role in making offenders – the majority of them other men – stop.

There are a variety of services on offer you can turn to in this country for support.

Here are just some of them: Lifeline – 24/7 service lifeline.org.au 131114, Relationships Australia 1300 364 277 and the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service 1800 737 732.

For details of individual State and Territory services or resources please visit whiteribbon.org.au.

But most of all this White Ribbon Day, say STOP.