The role of organisations in helping to end violence against women
Marcela Slepica, Director, Clinical Services
On October 17th 2022 State and Federal governments released the National Plan to end violence against women and children. This 10-year plan includes a framework of actions to end violence against women and children in one generation. It highlights how all parts of society including governments, businesses and workplaces, media, schools, and communities must work together towards a shared vision of ending gender-based violence.
The statistics are very confronting. 1 in 5 women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15, 1 in 6 women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a current or previous cohabitating partner since the age of 15 and 1 in 4 women have experienced emotional abuse by a current or previous cohabitating partner since the age of 15. The rates are higher for certain groups such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women1.
To address these staggering figures, the National Plan has 4 domains: Prevention, Early Intervention, Response and Recovery, and Healing. The government has now released the First Action Plan (2023 2037). The First Action Plan provides a roadmap for the first 5 year effort towards achieving the vision of the National Plan. It sets out the initial scope of activities, areas for action and responsibility with respect to outcomes, and outlines how they will make the commitments set out in the National Plan a reality. Read more about the First Action Plan and the ten action items they are committing to implement here.
Newport & Wildman are very supportive of this National Plan. We continue to provide domestic and family violence counselling and deliver training to organisations around Australia. As a part of our social purpose, we recognise the importance of addressing this issue and in providing vital clinical support for people in need. We encourage all organisations to think about their role and what they can do.
So what can your organisation do?
Given the high numbers of domestic violence in Australia, all organisations will be impacted in some way – an employee may be in a domestic violence situation and be too embarrassed or scared to share, one of your employees could be killed or their family member. With any domestic violence situation, there is an impact on employees, families, friends, colleagues and the broader community. Organisations will be impacted and do have a role to play.
Prevention includes raising awareness and educating your people about domestic and family violence. Organisations also have a role in the Response and Recovery domain. Last year, the Federal Government amended the Fair Work Act and passed a law that all employees will be entitled to 10 days paid Domestic Violence leave.
Domestic & Family Violence Training & Onsite Support
We know that this is a very confronting and complicated issue. Newport & Wildman are here to support organisations and their people. We provide Domestic & Family Violence Training for Employees and Leaders. If your organisation is impacted, we also have onsite support available where a clinician will come to your organisation and provide support to your leaders and employees.
With the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on the 25th of November, it’s an important time to take action now and beyond. The impact of not addressing this issue is far too great. If you would like to have a conversation around supporting your people and raising awareness around domestic & family violence, please reach out to Newport & Wildman on 1800 650 204.