Royal Australian Navy officers and sailors have recited the ‘stop violence against women’ oath individually and then as one, as Navy has been reaccredited with the White Ribbon organisation furthering a culture of non-acceptance of violence against women.
“I will stand up, speak out and act to prevent men’s violence against women. This is my Oath,” they said.
Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, White Ribbon Ambassadors and HMAS Stirling personnel attended an event to recognise Navy’s ongoing commitment to the worldwide male-led movement to end violence against women.
Vice Admiral Barrett said that eliminating domestic violence remained central to the capability of the Australian Navy as well as an example for the rest of the nation.
“For Navy to serve and to defend the nation we must recruit from amongst the best and the most talented Australians,” Vice Admiral Barrett said.
“We must retain and develop these people, since we depend upon their talent and their teamwork.
“We must not allow our people to be abused, and we must not tolerate abusive behaviour.
“Our Navy serves in the defence of democratic ideals – the respect for all people, a society within which all people can live safely and free from fear.
“We will not stand idly by, when by standing up and speaking out we can stop domestic violence.
“I am proud that we will continue our journey in partnership with White Ribbon,” he said.
Upon presenting the reaccreditation certificate, Chair of White Ribbon, Professor Nicholas Cowdery said that the Royal Australian Navy had embarked on a wide reaching cultural change to be more inclusive of gender.
“It has increased the visibility of women in the armed services and challenged attitudes and practices that have led particularly to family and domestic violence,” Professor Cowdery said.
“There is a strong narrative of non-discrimination and respect and behavioural standards have been clearly articulated.
“There is a strong drive among leadership to make a difference.
“There is very clear commitment to gender equality and that will be monitored again over the next three years.
“Navy has excelled in the three standards namely: leadership and commitment, prevention of violence against women and response to violence against women.
“There is a significant move in the Navy towards lasting cultural change and White Ribbon is pleased and proud to be involved in that and assisting with it.
“We congratulate the Royal Australian Navy on its reaccreditation and present this certificate to demonstrate that results are being achieved,” he said.
Each 25 November the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is marked, also known as White Ribbon Day.