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NSW Police recognised as 'White Ribbon Workplace' to help stop violence against women

Tuesday, 28 March 2017 12:26:54 PM

The NSW Police Force has recently been recognised as a ‘White Ribbon Workplace’ after undergoing a comprehensive accreditation program over the past 18 months to help stop violence against women.

The internationally recognised program – that requires organisations be assessed against 15 criteria – has seen 106 Australian employers achieve accreditation to therefore communicate with more than 600,000 Australians via their workplace.

Criteria include effective leadership, resource allocation, communication, human resources policy development, and training programs that foster a safer and more respectful workplace.

A NSW Police Force working group comprised of the Professional Standards Command, Performance Improvement and Planning, Operational Programs, Workplace Relations and Equity Unit, Human Resources Command, Workforce Safety, and Education and Training, was established to conduct surveys, prepare reports and create operational strategies as part of the accreditation.

Northern Region Domestic and Family Violence Sponsor, Detective Superintendent Chris Craner, said NSW Police is now part of a pioneering group of workplaces who are driving national cultural change to prevent and respond to violence against women.

“We’re proud to be recognised as a White Ribbon Workplace that supports employees and encourages them to be respectful across all areas of the organisation,” Supt Craner said.

“Research shows that one in three women experience physical and/or sexual violence carried out by someone they know – which reflects the seriousness and scope of this issue.

“We also know that victims of domestic and family violence may disclose abuse to a manager or supervisor. The challenges of this are two-fold; it’s clearly traumatic for victims to make that disclosure and can also be stressful for managers to respond to,” Supt Craner said.

“This means that training, support and most importantly leadership are critical to educate employees while taking a stand against violence and supporting those directly affected.

“As police we deal with the scourge of domestic and family violence at the coalface every day; however, we must also look within to ensure we are maintaining a workplace built on equity and respect.”

The past 12 months have seen some promising changes in supporting victims and proactively targeting offenders of domestic violence including, most recently, the launch of the Northern Region Domestic Violence High Risk Offender Team (DV HROT).

“The DV HROT initiative reinforces the fact that domestic violence is a criminal offence – and like the White Ribbon Workplace program – reflects the NSW Police’s zero tolerance approach,” Supt Craner said.

“In NSW, police respond to more than 145,000 incidents of domestic and family violence each year. That equates to about 400 cases every day.

“But preventing domestic and family violence is not the responsibility of any one person, agency or organisation; it is a whole-of-community issue,” Supt Craner said.

“We need to challenge and change disrespectful values, attitudes and behaviours – and as a White Ribbon Workplace we’re one step closer to achieving that.”

The Force’s accreditation lasts a total of three years, after which it can apply for re-accreditation that must demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the program and its overall aims.

“The NSW Police Force is the only newly accredited White Ribbon Workplace to receive ‘Outstanding’ ratings for five of 15 criteria,” White Ribbon Australia Chairman, Professor Nicholas Cowdery AM QC, said.

“This achievement recognises its strong and public leadership in prioritising the reduction of violence against women in the community, and strengthening a work culture of respect and equality.”

For further information about White Ribbon and to learn how you can show your support, visit www.whiteribbon.org.au.

Police are urging anyone with information about domestic violence to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/

Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. We remind people they should not report crime information via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

If you, or anyone you know has experienced, or is at risk of, family and domestic violence, contact 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732); a 24-hour, Family and Domestic Violence Counselling Line.