Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello has announced the NSW Government would provide $80,000 to White Ribbon Australia to strengthen engagement with culturally diverse communities and increase awareness about violence against women.
The announcement was made in the lead up to White Ribbon Night, a new initiative which encourages Australians to “have a night in to get the word out” by participating in fundraising events to raise awareness about the impact of violence against women.
“The NSW Government, through the Community Relation Commission, is proud to partner with White Ribbon to tackle violence against women and support agencies like NSW Police to sign up to its Workplace Accreditation Program.
“It is recognised that migrant and refugee communities often face unique challenges before and during the resettlement process which may impact upon their understandings of domestic violence.
“In the past decade NSW has welcomed over 30,000 humanitarian refugees and this funding is about ensuring White Ribbon’s message is accessible to all communities regardless of cultural background or language,” Dominello said.
The partnership will focus on:
• Raising the profile of White Ribbon among men from culturally diverse communities;
• Accrediting NSW Government agencies under White Ribbon’s Workplace Accreditation Program, starting with NSW Police;
• Recruiting ambassadors from culturally diverse backgrounds and increasing the involvement of religious leaders; and
• Developing culturally appropriate resources in the most relevant community languages, including an online calendar of White Ribbon activities
Minister for Women Pru Goward said the partnership would complement the NSW Government’s It Stops Here Domestic and Family Violence Framework.
“I welcome this initiative because one woman is killed by her partner or former partner every week in Australia and broadening community awareness is an important part of primary prevention,” Goward said.
White Ribbon Australia CEO Libby Davies said that increasing awareness about the foundation and its objectives among multicultural groups was integral to its success.
“NSW is one of the most culturally diverse societies in the world so it makes sense for us to develop strategies to broaden our reach within migrant communities and to partner with influential men, including religious leaders, who represent them.
“The NSW Government’s funding will enable us to better target our campaigns to men from culturally diverse communities.
“We currently have 27 employers accredited under the Workplace Accreditation Program reaching 84,000 employees across Australia.
“An important part of this partnership will be to encourage the first NSW Government agencies to sign up to the WAP, which recognises workplaces that take active steps to prevent and respond to violence against women,” Davies said.
NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas APM commended the partnership and said his organisation supported White Ribbon’s efforts to strengthen multicultural engagement.
“We deal with around 370 cases of domestic and family violence every day, so we are certainly on the frontline in responding to this issue.
“As an organisation we are committed to reducing the damning statistics and we look forward to working with White Ribbon to implement and adhere to best practice policies within our own workplace,” Kaldas said.
Dominello commended NSW Police’s commitment to become one of the first NSW government agencies accredited under the program.
“NSW Police has over 15,000 employees and is renowned for its strong engagement with multicultural communities, so I welcome its leadership in this campaign,” Dominello said.
White Ribbon is a national, male-led campaign to end violence against women which began in 2003 as UNIFEM before becoming a foundation in 2007. The campaign, which originated in Canada in 1991, is today active in over 60 countries.
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