Coonawarra stands united against domestic violence

Published on LEUT Todd Fitzgerald (author), LSIS James Whittle (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Coonawarra

Topic(s): White Ribbon Day

Officers and sailors of HMAS Coonawarra show their support for White Ribbon. (photo: LSIS James Whittle)
Officers and sailors of HMAS Coonawarra show their support for White Ribbon.
HMAS Coonawarra recently joined the chorus of Australian Defence Force voices on White Ribbon Day calling for an end to violence against women.
 
The Executive Officer of the Darwin base, Lieutenant Commander Phillipa Hay, told officers and sailors that domestic violence was not just a private issue but had very real consequences.
 
“Take a look at the silhouettes among you,” she said, referring to the life-size cutouts placed among the crowd to represent the 52 women a year killed by domestic violence in Australia.
 
“When you look at the silhouettes, give them the face of the woman you love - your mother, your wife, your daughter, your sister or your aunt - and know these are real people, this is a true representation.”
 
Ship’s Warrant Officer Vaughan King said the issue was more prevalent than many liked to believe.
 
“One in three women experience physical or sexual violence perpetrated by someone known to them,” he said.
 
“One in five women experience harassment in the workplace.”
 
Leading Seaman Naval Police Coxswain Aaron King urged everyone at the event to take action if they knew of someone experiencing domestic violence.
 
White Ribbon Day, the world’s largest male-led movement to end men’s violence against women and girls.
 
The Royal Australian Navy is a White Ribbon accredited workplace.