White Ribbon Day - how schools make a difference
Friday, 25 November is White Ribbon Day—a day to campaign for the prevention of violence against women and girls and a chance to provide positive examples for the next generation.
Domestic violence is a key issue affecting the educational outcomes of many students in our schools. Shockingly, one in four children will witness violence against their mother. Teachers and other school employees perform the remarkable task of addressing the emotional and behavioural fallout of domestic violence, with many students being either directly or indirectly affected.
Our union is proud to support White Ribbon Day and urges chapters to help raise awareness.
Raising awareness in the classroom
Teachers may choose to educate their class on White Ribbon Day about the effects of domestic violence. With the support of their Principal, members are encouraged to discuss the effects of domestic violence with high school students by distributing White Ribbon Day Fact Sheets and helpline numbers. (It will be necessary to exercise professional judgement in the suitability of these materials for younger students.)
Fact Sheets can be found at http://www.whiteribbon.org.au/resources/facts. Please note that Fact Sheets on ‘Responding to disclosures of violence’ and ‘Responding to challenging or difficult statements’ are essential reading prior to initiating any classroom discussion.
Details for relevant 24 hour telephone counselling services are also provided below:
- 1800 RESPECT: 1800 737 732
- Lifeline: 13 11 14 or www.lifeline.org.au
- Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800 or www.kidshelp.com.au
Teachers are reminded to first brief their Principal and APRE / Deputy Principal as appropriate, to ensure any student disclosures arising from the classroom discussions are able to be supported in a timely way by the school counsellor, chaplain, nurse or psychologist. Any relevant school level or systemic policies regarding reporting requirements where students reveal abuse should also be adhered to.
Domestic violence is the leading contributor to death, disability and illness of women under 45 in Australia. Statistics show that one in three women over the age of 15 reported experiencing physical or sexual violence.
IEUA-QNT Chapters can take action on White Ribbon Day to raise awareness of violence against women by:
- Holding a special White Ribbon Day morning tea on Friday, 25 November, 2016 or another day during the week of 21 November 2016. Please email some high resolution photographs of your morning tea to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in our communications;
- Encouraging male IEUA-QNT members, principals and senior administration members to swear the White Ribbon Oath by visiting http://www.whiteribbon.org.au/heymate;
- Informing and involving your class by discussing the White Ribbon Day Fact Sheets, in consultation with your principal or senior leadership team;
- Wearing either a white ribbon or an article of white clothing;
- Building the strength of our union by personally inviting any teacher, who has not yet joined their colleagues in IEUA-QNT, to do so.