No better time to speak up

Published on Defence (author)

Topic(s): Charities and Fundraising, Ships, Boats and Submarines, Frigate Helicopter (FFH), HMAS Anzac (F150), Health, Fitness and Wellbeing, Events, White Ribbon Day

HMAS Anzac's ship's company have a morning tea to talk about domestic violence in support of White Ribbon. (photo: Unknown)
HMAS Anzac's ship's company have a morning tea to talk about domestic violence in support of White Ribbon.

Late in 2016 during a busy Sea Qualification Trial the crew of HMAS Anzac still found time to join together in support of White Ribbon and the 'Stick your neck out' campaign.

Both initiatives encourage people to speak out against male-perpetrated violence towards women. 

Midshipman Maree Altham, a Maritime Warfare Officer under training said despite the crew's workload, making time for important conversations was still a priority.

“It’s great to see the wider Navy family supporting these programs and taking the time to speak out about the issue," she said.

The ship's company used a delicious morning tea break to focus their attention on social issues that impact on families.

"It might seem like a small thing, just a morning tea, but if it helps one person it is worth it.”

Every year on average 52 women die at the hands of a male offender in Australia, plus hundreds more physically, emotionally and financially abused.  The Navy recently launched a specific Family and Domestic Violence Strategy in 2016 as those women could be part of the Navy family - a sister, cousin, friend, neighbour or a fellow crew member.

While the Australian Navy has been associated with White Ribbon for many years, in 2014 the Royal Australian Navy formally became an accredited White Ribbon workplace.

As part of that, many ship's company in Anzac took the White Ribbon oath to never commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women, to 'stick their neck out' and speak up about the issue.

Beginning in the 1980s, the White Ribbon Program originated in Canada following the tragic murder of multiple female university students at the hands of a male offender.