The men and women of HMAS Cerberus united in support of White Ribbon Day on Monday. At an official White Ribbon Day gathering, Executive Officer, Commander Mike Oborn encouraged everyone to pledge the White Ribbon oath, think on the seriousness of violence against women and to have the courage to take a stand.
“Being so aware of Navy’s values, we sometimes take for granted that everyone understands what is morally right and wrong. What’s truly disturbing to learn, is just how many Australian’s don’t,” CMDR Oborn said.
“At Cerberus, we pride ourselves on being a family and instilling our values as a way of life. Holding our own White Ribbon events and supporting the local campaign message against family violence gives us the chance to share our ‘family’ values and add our voice to a very serious issue,” he said.
White Ribbon is the world's largest male-led movement to end men's violence against women. The annual White Ribbon Australia campaign engages boys and men to lead social change through education and programs that alter attitude and behaviours that lead to and perpetuate men’s violence against women.
In Hastings and the Mornington Peninsula area, a campaign was launched for the month of November to ‘Say No to Family Violence’. As many as one in three women will experience family violence and one in four children will witness it in their own homes. Despite being so common, it is still a problem that many are unaware of.
The Respectful Relationships Group decided it was time to bring the matter of family violence out into the open and urge individuals, families, businesses and organisations to spread the message and do the right thing.
HMAS Cerberus took the opportunity to share that message. Representatives from Respectful Relationships and the Hastings Family Violence Unit were present and male members pledged the oath, led by Councillor David Garnock, a former Commanding Officer of HMAS Cerberus.
“We developed this campaign because there are still so many people who don’t understand the problem. We need to help everyone understand that violence and controlling behaviour in relationships is not acceptable, and that we can all do something to tackle it,” said Emma Robinson from the Respectful Relationships Group.
The White Ribbon Ambassadors’ Program supports men to be the faces and leaders of the campaign, by living the White Ribbon Oath: never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women.
More information about White Ribbon can be found at http://www.whiteribbon.org.au.
Images are available from the Royal Australian Navy Media Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20132278.