Marking Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month this May, eight Geraldton businesses and organisations took action for the safety and wellbeing of their employees by working to eliminate the risks of domestic and family violence in their workplaces and implemented critical prevention strategies.
The Desert Blue Connect, Health Communication Resources, City of Greater Geraldton, Headspace, Ngala, Aboriginal Family Legal Services, WA Centre for Rural Health and Communicare, did this through the completion of the Community, Respect and Equality Level 1 Accreditation.
They stand with more than 30 other Geraldton organisations who are signed onto the Community, Respect and Equality Workplace Agreement Program – a community-wide initiative that provides guidance to businesses about family violence prevention in their workplaces.
Community, Respect and Equality Program Coordinator Kate Black said, “By signing onto the workplace agreement program, as a Geraldton organisation, you’re saying no to family violence and the social norms that condone violence in our local community.”
“Unfortunately, Domestic and Family Violence is a significant problem in Australia and even more so in Geraldton and across the Mid West,” said Ms Black.
Last year the Midwest-Gascoyne Police attended 3000 family violence incidents, averaging more than 57 family violence incidents per week.
Research from Our Watch reveals that women typically experience violence within domestic and family relationships and the abuse is usually perpetrated by men against women.
“It is a complex issue which affects the whole community, and it requires a whole of community response,” said Ms Black.
“The key to preventing this violence is working together as a community to address the underlying drivers of this violence, which research shows arise in the social context of gender inequality,” she said.
“We focus highly on giving organisations and businesses the resources and skills to work towards gender equality and support staff who experience family violence.
“Gender equality refers to our community valuing women and men as equals – meaning women and men are equally heard and respected and have access to equal opportunities.
“This generally helps create a culture where employees are confident to call out disrespect, sexism, harassment, or violence.
“Local people, business and industry play a hugely important role in making this change happen – by taking action to prevent family violence in your workplace you are taking action for the whole of community, “said Ms Black.