A grant from the Department of Social Services (DSS), will enable White Ribbon Australia to establish 10 new Community Action Groups around Australia.
This project forms part of the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-22. White Ribbon Australia will also be collaborating with its research partner ANROWS as part of the project evaluation for this project.
White Ribbon Australia National Director Allan Ball said violence prevention was complex issue.
“What works for one community, may not work for another. White Ribbon Australia has adopted a community-led approach to primary prevention through Community Action Groups, to address issues at a local level,” Mr Ball said.
“Community Action Groups bring people together to develop plans that make a difference in their communities. They can be geographically based, or built around specific faith, cultural, sporting, workplace or other communities of interest. They don't simply ask questions, they take action.
“Using primary prevention approaches, Community Action Groups seek to address the underlying causes of violence against women to prevent it before it begins. Our Primary Prevention Officers stationed around Australia use their expertise in ending violence to guide the development of Community Action Groups and support people to bring their community together.
“We are very excited to announce that the first Community Action Group established through the DSS project is the Shellharbour Council Community Action Group.”
Shellharbour City Mayor Chris Homer said the Council was proud to be involved in finding evidence-based solutions to the complex problem of gendered violence.
“Unfortunately, gendered violence continues to be problematic in Shellharbour City. In recent years, Council has made great progress internally through our White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation program,” Mayor Homer said.
“The program provided an excellent foundation for Council to address gender-based violence and to assist staff who may be experiencing family and domestic violence.
“The need now is to turn our attention to community-based initiatives and the CAG project is a valuable opportunity to do that in a strategic and evidence-based way,” he said.
Further Community Action Groups are currently being developed, with the projects funded for two years. However, Mr Ball said White Ribbon Australia’s commitment was to create long-term solutions for communities.
“We are focused on helping establish proactive, sustainable Community Action Groups that will remain an integrated part of violence prevention strategies within the community well beyond the conclusion of the project,” he said.
Women who are experiencing violence or abuse can call 1800RESPECT for confidential information, counselling and support. Men who are concerned that they may use violence are urged to call the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491.
John Cooke, Media and Communications Specialist
Phone: 0433 679 780