The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women or White Ribbon Day is marked each year on 25 November (this Wednesday in 2015). The ASU and a large variety of organisations worldwide participate in awareness raising activities to promote the message that violence against women is not on. Additionally, the ASU and the Australian union movement has been taking concrete action with our campaign for Domestic Violence Leave for all workers.
For many years, the ASU has been promoting the message of White Ribbon Day and encouraging people to acknowledge the scourge that is domestic violence. With awareness comes the determination to address problems and although this has happened slowly with domestic violence, in the years we have been involved we can see the shift in public mood from silence towards demands for real action.
The Union has many White Ribbon Ambassadors across the country, and our Branches participate in various ways around White Ribbon Day and throughout the year. It is not an issue that can be left to 25 November alone, but the day is a focus for annual reflections and actions, which we support.
For White Ribbon Day this year, there are many things you do to participate and we encourage our members and supporters to mark the day in some way. Here are a few suggestions from the Australian White Ribbon Day committee:
- Take the new oath
- Wear a White Ribbon to show your support
- Attend a White Ribbon Day event
- Watch the 2015 White Ribbon video and share it with your networks on social media
- Donate to the campaign
Campaign for domestic violence leave & reversal of sector cuts
The ASU would add to this list a request that you get involved in our campaign for Domestic Violence Leave and help us to lobby the Federal Government to reverse its onerous cuts to community services – workers in that sector are at the forefront of helping victims and the community cope with domestic violence and so meet the public's demand for real action.
The Federal Government cuts are completely out of synch with community sentiment but the Government will only change their policies if we make ourselves heard.
A few things you can do to help our campaign:
- Read our ASU flyer about Domestic Violence Leave & community sector funding cuts
- Share the flyer with your family, friends and colleagues
- Sign our petition to Prime Minister Turnbull seeking a reversal of funding cuts
The ASU led the way in seeking and winning Domestic Violence Leave in agreements with the Surf Coast (VIC) Enterprise Agreement in 2010, a provision which provides assistance to victims of violence but also helps employers retain valuable staff through difficult personal periods.
Since that victory, the ASU has negotiated to have the clause inserted into over 230 agreements across the country (as at the end of 2014) and with these efforts and those of various other unions, millions of Australian workers now have access to the critical support that DV leave provides. However, the Australian union movement believes this leave should be available to all workers.
Help us win this so we can all contribute in a real way to lessening the tragedy that accompanies domestic violence.
ASU Domestic Violence Leave & SACS funding flyer
ACTU fact sheet: Paid family and domestic violence leave and protections claim
ACTU news: New research backs push for paid domestic violence leave in more workplaces