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White Ribbon Day, 22 November 2019

White Ribbon Day, 22 November 2019

White Ribbon Day, 22 November 2019, is about stopping violence against women and their children.  Domestic violence is not a subject people like to talk about, but it happens in our society and often behind closed doors. On this day men and boys are encouraged to wear a white ribbon to support other men in speaking out against violence towards women.

The Cycle of Violence

Family violence, known as domestic violence can occur in a variety of ways. It can include:

  • Physical
  • Verbal
  • Psychological
  • Sexual
  • Financial
  • Emotional
  • Spiritual
  • Social

Domestic violence creates fear and intimidation in the victim. Violence against women is a serious problem in Australia and can result in death: women die from the negative health effects of violence and some are killed. Violence against women affects a person’s wellbeing and prevents them from fully functioning and participating in society. It impacts families, the community and our nation.

White Ribbon uses the definition of men’s violence against women found in the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women: “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivations of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.

The Facts:

The following basic statistics help demonstrate the prevalence and severity of violence against women:

  • On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner.
  • 1 in 3 Australian women have experienced physical violence since the age of 15.
  • 1 in 5 Australian women has experienced sexual violence.
  • 1 in 6 Australian women has experienced physical or sexual violence by current or former partner.
  • 1 in 4 Australian women has experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner.
  • Australian women are nearly three times more likely than men to experience violence from an intimate partner.
  • Australian women are almost four times more likely than men to be hospitalised after being assaulted by their spouse or partner.
  • Women are more than twice as likely as men to have experienced fear or anxiety due to violence from a former partner.
  • More than two-thirds (68%) of mothers who had children in their care when they experienced violence from their previous partner said their children had seen or heard the violence.
  • Almost one in 10 women (9.4%) have experienced violence by a stranger since the age of 15.
  • Young women (18 – 24 years) experience significantly higher rates of physical and sexual violence than women in older age groups.
  • There is growing evidence that women with disabilities are more likely to experience violence.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women report experiencing violence in the previous.12 months at 3. times the rate of non-Indigenous women.
  • In 2014–15, Indigenous women were 32 times as likely to be hospitalised due to family violence as non-Indigenous women.



Where can I get help?

If you have been triggered by the article in any way, please seek help from the services below, contact the College to speak to the Counsellor, see your general practitioner or seek counselling assistance.

Family violence support services:

  • 1800 Respect national helpline 1800 737 732
  • Women's Crisis Line 1800 811 811
  • Men's Referral Service 1300 766 491
  • Lifeline (24 hour crisis line) 131 114
  • Relationships Australia 1300 364 27

Catherine Redwood
College Counsellor

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