Wednesday 25 November 2015, marks White Ribbon Day and the vision that one day all women will live in safety, free from all forms of men’s violence.
White Ribbon Australia seeks to change the attitudes and behaviours that lead to and perpetuate men’s violence against women, by engaging boys and men to lead social change.
Professor Linda Kristjanson, Vice-Chancellor, Swinburne University of Technology, says Swinburne strives to promote a socially inclusive culture that ensures the safety and wellbeing of all staff and students.
"At Swinburne, we want to signal very clearly that we will be there to support our people if they are experiencing family violence," says Professor Linda Kristjanson.
In 2013, Swinburne became the first Victorian university to adopt an initiative around family violence support for staff – a way to offer assistance to victims on their pathway out of violence.
Research has revealed that two thirds of women who have experienced family violence are in paid employment.
Staying in employment is critical to surviving the impacts of family violence, so providing additional paid leave and supporting staff by recognising their situation and enhancing their safety at work makes a real difference to the lives of individuals and their children.
This initiative adds to Swinburne’s provisions that value and actively fosters a supportive and safe culture, particularly for women.
Today also marks the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Rosie Batty, 2015 Australian of the Year, has shown her support through the ‘Never Alone’ campaign, led by the Luke Batty Foundation. Rosie asked people to share their story, with a total of 160 powerful stories being published.
Rosie recently presented at Swinburne’s Hawthorn campus as part of the City of Boroondara’s White Ribbon Day event. The event included a keynote from Rosie as well as speeches by Councillor Coral Ross, Former Mayor of the City of Boroondara, Professor Jennelle Kyd, Swinburne’s Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Superintendent Matthew Ryan from the Victoria Police Family Violence Command.
The event aimed to raise awareness of the issues around family violence, reduce stigma and encourage people to talk about the support and services available to victims. As a statement of their commitment to the campaign, the assembled crowd took the White Ribbon and marched from Swinburne’s Hawthorn campus to Hawthorn Gardens for a community BBQ event.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732.
Services available at Swinburne
Security: Swinburne security staff are trained to deal with on campus threats to staff and students.
SwinHealth: A general practitioner medical clinic and nursing services are available on the Hawthorn campus. Croydon and Wantirna campuses have dedicated nursing services.
Employee Assistance Program: Swinburne provides 24/7 phone and face-to-face free confidential counselling and consulting services that focus on the early assessment and prevention and/or remediation of personal problems experienced by employees or members of their families.
Take an oath to stand up, speak out, and act this White Ribbon Day.