Community steps up White Ribbon walk
COMMUNITY members joined forces with Beechworth Health Service staff on White Ribbon Day to mark the stand for all forms of violence against women to end.
Held on the November 23, close to 30 people walked the hospital complex where a morning tea was held.
Statistics by White Ribbon Australia showed on average that one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner as well as suffering many other forms of domestic violence.
Beechworth Health Service community engagement officer Anna Mackinlay said the Health Service played an important role as a major employer in the town.
“It’s vital we promote gender equality,” she said.
Announced at the walk, Ms Mackinlay said significant milestone had been reached with white ribbon accreditation – a commitment at all levels of an organisation to stop violence against women that created a safer and respectful workplace.
“It means we show leadership,” she said. Chief executive officer Mark Ashcroft said the Health Service played a crucial role in raising people’s awareness.
Ms Mackinlay said the Health Service had a commitment to recognise indicators at both staff and patient levels where the Health Service could respond with family training too.
“With these health issues entirely preventable, the hospital response was ‘prevent, recognise and respond,’ she said.
Beechworth’s Susan Billman said no-one should be treated with violence.
“Prevention is important in identifying the signs where support can be give in some way,” she said.
Beechworth’s Karenne Thistleton said she walked to raise awareness as domestic and family violence wreaked a huge physical, mental and economic cost to the community.
With improvements in the local area over the past 20 years, Ms Thistleton said too many women and children still had their lives disrupted by violence.
“Every individual has a responsibility to call out community attitudes that contribute to family violence, so that women and children can live safely in their homes without fear,” she said.
“It should never be regarded as the victim’s responsibility alone to stop violence.”
Ms Thistleton said additional resources were needed for prevention of violence and early intervention.
STRONG STAND: Beechworth’s Karenne Thistleton ( left) and Susan Billman led the way for the White Ribbon Day walk from the post office to Beechworth Health Service on November 23.