Frequently, men’s abuse of women includes more than one kind, often used repeatedly and together, causing women to feel undermined, intimidated and afraid for their safety and wellbeing, and that of their children and families. It is also more likely to lead to serious injury, disability or death.
In 2017, the Australian Personal Safety Survey found that men are more likely to be physically assaulted by other men, usually strangers, outside of their home. In contrast, most women (92%) reported being assaulted by a man they knew, mainly in their home (65%).
When women do use violent behaviours, research shows that it is usually motivated by fear and is used in self-defence against violence that is already being done to them by their male partners or family members.
These 3 paragraphs are just a few of the alarming facts listed on the White Ribbon Australia website with regard to violence against women.
With ML&H Services being a small business, our GM saw the opportunity to start the conversation around this complex issue and be part of the movement of change from the start – with the commitment to support the Primary Prevention approach. The first step was to provide new team members with a White Ribbon Australia wristband, and information in their onboarding packs, BUT we also know that more is needed to bring about real and lasting change – a change in ideals, culture, policy, education and attitude is required.
With previous roles, our GM supported organisations that assisted women and children with food, clothes and other items to support them once they had left an unsafe situation. Whilst these services are necessary and irreplaceable, our thought process was – ‘wouldn’t it be good, if these services were not needed’- hence the choice to become White Ribbon Accredited. Primary prevention strategies are so important when addressing this issue. Helping from the ground up, being a voice, educating and shining a light on unsafe behaviors that can happen in the workplace and at home, is now something that ML&H are focusing on. Talking about the different types of abuse, individuals understanding that there is support, and ensuring our workplace is one of zero tolerance for any form of gendered violence against women.
With the guidance and support of our Accreditation Partner Bri, our first step in this process was to complete a gap analysis of what ML&H are missing. We had staff complete an anonymous survey. Bri will review the survey responses and provide ML&H with a gap analysis. This will ensure that the approach is relevant to our staff beliefs and will focus on what we need to learn as a business. Based on these results, we look forward to implementing new policies, guidelines, resources and support avenues, to gain our accreditation.
We are not perfect, we are continuing to learn, grow and evolve. Each time a challenging issue arises, we deal with it together and implement an action plan accordingly. Empowering our staff to be part of the solution is a huge focus for ML&H Services, and we believe it is something that will help make our community a better place for all.
We look forward to updating you on our accreditation journey and encourage other businesses to visit the White Ribbon Australia website to find out how they can walk alongside us: https://www.whiteribbon.org.au/Workplaces-and-Schools/Workplace-Accreditation