Staff taking action
Benalla Health has continued its journey of improving the awareness of family violence prevention in the community.
Four staff, Maree Woodhouse, Sally Matheson, Nathan Willoughby and Karen Lang have been accepted as White Ribbon Advocates.
Director Community Health Neil Stott said Benalla Health was currently working towards achieving White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation status, which included being able to recruit staff as White Ribbon Advocates.
Mr Stott said he was pleased that the four staff have signed up as Advocates because it demonstrates a leadership example to other staff at Benalla Health and to the wider community.
“With Benalla having such high rates of family violence compared to the rest of the State, having White Ribbon Advocates at Benalla Health, who are trained to support staff, clients and community members who have experienced family violence, will help to make a difference,” he said.
“In addition to supporting victims, Advocates are able to assist staff and the community understand the important links between gender inequality, attitudes, language and behaviour, that can lend themselves to domestic violence and abuse.
“Importantly, they can call someone out if they act or speak inappropriately, such as making a sexist joke, as well as take action if they witness a violent incident by calling the Police”.
Mr Stott commended the Benalla community for getting behind the White Ribbon campaign.
“In the past seven years, we have seen the community come together more and more to make a difference with family violence in our community,” he said.
“This was highlighted in the biggest White Ribbon Day March we held in Benalla in 2016 where more than 700 people came together to say “No to Violence”.
“I would encourage members of the community to follow the example of our four staff and also take the next step and sign up as White Ribbon Advocates.”
For more information about becoming a White Ribbon Advocate, please go to www.whiteribbon.org.au