AMWU and White Ribbon
Our union is a strong supporter of the White Ribbon Campaign, and is taking practical action to end the scourge of domestic and family violence in Australia.
As a predominantly male union – in both our Officials and our members – we recognise that we have an important role to play; by educating ourselves and our members, supporting members who may have experienced violence, and by ensuring that workplaces and workplace agreements are safe spaces that support women who may experience family violence.
- 1 in 3 Australian women will experience domestic or family violence in the course of their life. For most, this is ongoing and repeated.
- At the time of writing, 59 women had been killed by domestic violence so far this year.
- On average, 2 women die every week in Australia due to domestic violence.
What can you do?
- Familiarise yourself with the issue. You can do this with this sheet and the provided fact sheets. Remember – you don’t need all the answers to this complex problem. An open mind and the will to speak out against violence is the most important.
- Understand how domestic violence is linked to work, and how it can affect (and be effected by) work. Read about why domestic violence leave clauses are so important.
- Encourage other members to learn about the campaign and the issue. Talk through the facts and issues, including the AMWU’s push to insert family violence leave clauses into our agreements. Explain why this is important.
- Lead the men in our union in taking the Oath. Take a photograph of you and your mates taking the oath. You can find the oath here. You can also sign the oath online.
We will collate all the photos for an Official Launch in November so please send the photos in! Send to:firstname.lastname@example.org
Many people find that when they take a leading role in discussing the issue of domestic violence, someone may at some point make a disclosure them. This means a member may disclose to you that they are experiencing domestic or family violence.
What you should do:
If someone speaks to you in this way, it is important that you treat the situation very seriously, and with the utmost respect.
However, it is not your job to be a counsellor or to solve the issue. Family violence is very complex.
Make sure you let the person know that you believe them. Ask them what they would like you to do to help, and encourage them to seek professional help (the Police, counselling services etc).