DOMESTIC violence is everyone’s business.
A new program launched in Warrnambool yesterday wants to spread the message, starting with the workplace.
The Taking A Stand program aims to prevent violence against women before it occurs, with the workplace identified as a perfect place to start spreading the word.
“The workplace is where people spend a lot of their time,” Women’s Health Barwon South West executive officer Emily Lee-Ack said.
“It’s a perfect place to start a conversation. One in three women aged over 15 are the victims of violence, so it is a serious issue.
“This program aims to help business take the lead and help change attitudes and behaviour that support violence.”
Women’s Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West is implementing the program in the region, co-ordinated by Nathalie Davis.
Ms Davis said workplaces which signed up to the program would have training sessions that would give staff the skills and confidence to ask questions if they suspected a co-worker was a victim.
“But we want it to extend beyond the workplace as well, so those people can stand up outside of work and say to their mates who may make a comment that it isn’t right and shouldn’t be tolerated,” she said. “Managers and human resources staff will be trained in how to support people affected and workplaces will be encouraged to implement policies,” Ms Davis said.
“We want to encourage a deep level of support and an environment where women feel comfortable to talk about their experiences.”