Northern Midlands Council makes stand for violence against women

Northern Midlands Mayor David Downie summed it up perfectly on Monday night when he said “this behaviour should always be condemned”.

But unfortunately, violence against women still occurs within our community.

It doesn’t discriminate, it doesn’t matter if you live in a mansion or public housing, are educated or live below the minimum wage. It can happen to anyone.

In society we often hear statements along the lines of  “she was asking for it”;  “why doesn’t she just leave?”; “women shouldn’t wear short skirts if they don’t want attention.” Statements like these are uncalled for.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, one in three women have experienced physical and/or social violence by someone known to them.

One in five women over 18 have been stalked during their lifetime and one in five has experienced harassment in the workplace.

Northern Midlands Council has chosen to make a stand by being part of the White Ribbon Initiative.

The organisation will also implement the White Ribbon Accreditation Program that recognises workplaces that are taking steps to stop violence against women.

The Examiner encourages all individuals and businesses to get involved in such an initiative – you just have to read stories in our masthead to see the impact violence against women has in the wider community.

Domestic and family violence is the principal cause of homelessness for women and their children. Statistics show that over a 12-month period one women is killed every week by a current or former partner. 

Violence against women not only puts pressure on our police and justice systems, but on charities who are currently struggling to feed and offer shelter to people in need.

Indigenous women and girls are 35 times more likely to be hospitalised due to family violence. Survivors of this type of violence are more likely to have poorer health outcomes and mental health issues. 

The state government spends millions each year to address the problem and has launched its Safe homes, Safe Families Tasmania’s Family Violence Action Plan 2015–2020 as a way to curb the problem.

However for initiatives like this to work, the whole community needs to get on board. Perceptions need to be changed. Individuals and workplaces need to make a stand and say no to violence against women.