Some of the largest resources companies in Western Australia have united to take a strong stance against family and domestic violence.
The ‘16 Days in WA to Stop Violence Against Women’ campaign kicked off on 25 November 2019, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and will run until 10 December (Human Rights Day).
Based on the global ‘16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence’ campaign, 16 Days in WA is the state’s contribution to these efforts and aims to raise awareness, motivate positive actions across Western Australia and advocate on behalf of organisations that oppose violence against women.
As part of the campaign, 12 organisations from the resources sector co-ordinated an industry walk to show that the sector cares about the safety of its employees, both at work and at home.
“Family and domestic violence doesn’t discriminate. It affects people of all ages, socio-economic groups, cultures and sexes. It does not matter whether you have a job, your level of education or your postcode,” said Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA (CME) CEO, Paul Everingham.
“The shocking statistics are that 1-in-4 women and 1-in-13 men have experienced at least one incident of violence from a current or former partner since the age of 15. And this isn’t just physical or sexual violence, it can also be emotional, verbal, or financial.”
Mr Everingham said that many of its members were long-term supporters of White Ribbon and despite its closure in Australia they would continue to speak out against family and domestic violence.
“As one of the biggest employers in Western Australia, the resources sector has a responsibility to work together to raise awareness, educate our people, challenge conversations around family and domestic violence and be part of a long-term solution,” Mr Everingham said.
The 12 resources companies involved in the walk were Alcoa, BHP, BlueScope Steel, Chevron, the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia, Compass Group, Fortescue Metals Group, Newmont Gold Corp, Rio Tinto, South 32, Thiess and Woodside.
Mr Everingham said these companies provide support to their employees through a range of initiatives including Employee Assistance Programs with access to free 24-hour counselling services, peer support programmes, emergency housing, emergency financial assistance, safety plans, referrals to support services, support cards, and leadership training.
Speakers at the event included Ms Amber-Jade Sanderson, MLA for Morley, Shona Zulsdorf, Chairperson Patricia Giles Centre and Scott Browne Vice President, Human Resources, Health, Safety and Environment, Rio Tinto Iron Ore.
As part of the campaign, the companies created a video with employees explaining why it is important for them to work in an industry that supports people affected by family and domestic violence.
Gold coin donations from a sausage sizzle are going towards the Patricia Giles Centre, which provides a range of services for women and children experiencing and escaping family and domestic violence.
More information about the campaign is available on the Department of Communities website. A resource kit is also available, outlining ways the industry and community can take to stop the violence.
If you or someone you know requires help, please contact:
Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline – 1800 007 339
Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline – 1800 000 599
1800 RESPECT is a national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.