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White Ribbon Australia workplace accreditation program

Queensland Health is committed to providing a safe, secure and supportive workplace for its employees.

We recognise our staff may experience situations of domestic and family violence which can impact their safety, well-being, attendance and performance at work.

In support of this commitment the department, along with 12 other Queensland government agencies, is participating in the White Ribbon Australia Workplace Accreditation Program.

The accreditation program aligns with the department's work to implement the recommendations of the Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic Violence in Queensland report and will help to better recognise, prevent and respond to colleagues affected by domestic violence.

What is White Ribbon accreditation?

White Ribbon is the world's largest movement of men and boys working to end men's violence against women and girls, promote gender equality, healthy relationships and a new vision of masculinity.

Its vision is for a nation that respects women, in which every woman lives in safety, free from all forms of men's abuse.

White Ribbon Australia's focus is primary prevention - stopping violence before it occurs, by challenging the deeply ingrained attitudes, social norms and power inequalities that give rise to men's violence against women and gender inequality.

White Ribbon is Australia's only national, male led Campaign to end men's violence against women. The Campaign aims to raise awareness and change attitudes and behaviours by engaging men and boys to lead social change.

The statistics

  • Approximately 1.4 million Australian women are living in an abusive relationship, or have done so in the past. Of these women, about 800,000 are in the paid workforce.
  • 1 in 6 Australian women has experienced physical abuse at the hands of a current or former partner.
  • 1 in 19 Australian men has experienced physical abuse at the hands of a current or former partner.
  • 1 in 4 Australian women has experienced emotional abuse at the hands of a current or former partner.
  • 1 in 7 men has experienced emotional abuse at the hands of a current or former partner.
  • The estimated cost of domestic and family violence to the Queensland economy is $2.7 billion to $3.2 billion.
  • The Queensland Government is the largest employer within Queensland,employing 10% total number of employed Queenslanders. The Queensland Government has a critical role to play in ensuring its employees are protected at work and in demonstrating to the business community that domestic violence is a workplace issue.
  • The violence is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men, regardless of whether the victim is male or female.

Accreditation in the Department of Health

Domestic and family violence occurs when one person in a relationship uses violence and abuse to maintain power and control over the other person. This can include behaviour that is physically, sexually, emotionally, psychologically or economically abusive, threatening, and coercive or aimed at controlling or dominating the other person through fear.

Domestic and family violence can affect people of all cultures, religions, ages, genders, sexual orientations, educational backgrounds and income levels.

On 10 October 2014, the then Premier, officially launched the Special taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland, to be led by Former Governor-General, the Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO.

Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an end to domestic and family violence in Queensland was delivered to the Premier in February 2015. The Taskforce's unwavering message is that domestic and family violence prevention is everyone's responsibility.

As the health system is often a first point of contact for individuals who have experienced domestic and family violence, a number of the recommendations in the Not Now, Not Ever report relate to ensuring our clinicians have an understanding of domestic and family violence and know how to respond appropriately if they become aware of an incident or disclosure of domestic and family violence.

However, domestic and family violence is also a workplace issue. It can impact a person's safety, wellbeing, attendance, and performance at work. Domestic violence not only affects the work performance and workplace safety of the victim, but also their co-workers and the whole organisation.

Employment can also has a positive impact on domestic violence. Having a job is a key pathway to women leaving a violent relationship.

In September 2016 the Department of Health commenced the process to become an accredited White Ribbon workplace and anticipate a decision in November 2017.

In the meantime we will work with our staff and leaders to better recognise, prevent and respond to colleagues affected by domestic violence.

Where can I find help and support?

If you or someone you know is impacted by family violence, call the Safe at Home Family Violence Response and Referral Line on 1800 633 937 or visit the 1800RESPECT website. In an emergency, call 000.

You can also call the Men's Referral Service on 1300 766 491 for anonymous and confidential telephone counselling, information and referrals to help men stop using violence and controlling behaviour. This service operates 9am to 9pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.

Last updated: 26 July 2019