The crew of HMAS Anzac marked White Ribbon day at sea. But that didn’t stop the ship’s company from raising several hundred dollars to assist women who have suffered from domestic violence.
The ship was participating in Fleet Concentration Period off the east coast of Australia. Despite their heavy workload, the ship’s company was determined to mark White Ribbon Day in some way.
An all day fundraiser raised $311 through gold coin donations. It wasn’t long before the first batch of cup cakes were snapped up, calling for an additional batch to be made, taking the total to 230 cupcakes. But more importantly, the event gave the ship’s White Ribbon Ambassador, Chief Petty Officer Communications Information Systems Mark Baker the opportunity to discuss domestic violence and the impact it has on so many lives.
“The figures are appalling,” Chief Petty Officer Baker said.
“On average in the past twelve months, one woman has died each week as a result of domestic violence. When you hear that statistic you might think it’s exaggerated – but you would be wrong. These are official crime figures – that’s what domestic violence is – a crime. In this modern age, we can’t stand by and let it go on.”
Chief Petty Officer Baker’s discussion with the ship’s company was so successful, that another two members of the crew have come forward, seeking to become White Ribbon Ambassadors themselves in the coming months.
“Domestic violence comes in many forms,” Chief Petty Officer Baker said.
“It’s physical and it’s psychological – all of us need to step up and speak out against this sort of behaviour.”