Compass Housing has again helped the Newcastle and Hunter community to come together to say no to male violence against women as the major sponsor of the region’s White Ribbon Day breakfast #WhiteRibbonHunter.
More than 400 people attended the sold out event on November 30. Compass has been the event’s major sponsor for the past three years.
White Ribbon Day ambassador and chair of the breakfast organising committee, Jon Chin, said Compass’ support is vital to the success of the event and its goals of raising awareness about White Ribbon and encouraging men to take action to eliminate male violence towards women.
Compass Housing staff members, Corporate Projects and Sustainability Manager, Jandy McCandless, and Social and Affordable Housing Manager, Michael Nolan, both bravely gave powerful, personal accounts of their experience of violence against women.
The main guest speaker was 23 year old Maddison Passarelli. The day after her 21st birthday she saw her mother in a Mid North Coast hospital, battered, bruised with her hair completely shaven off as a result of domestic violence. Since then she has been fiercely advocating for survivors of domestic violence and demanding for their stories to be heard and considered. Port Stephens’ based White Ribbon ambassador, Roger Yeo, whose daughter Rachelle was murdered in her home in 2012, and NSW Police Northern Region DV sponsor and event emcee, Superintendent John Gralton, joined Maddison on a panel to discuss how men can break the silence about violence towards women.
Attendees held a minutes silence while 63 women stood to represent the number of Australian women who had died thus far in 2018 because of male violence.
Mr Chin said the support of Compass and other sponsors also enabled the committee to pay for more almost 80 students from 18 local high schools to attend the breakfast. He said breaking the cycle of violence starts with educating young people.
Proceeds from this year’s event went to help NAPCAN to expand its school-based domestic and family violence and sexual assault prevention program, Love Bites, in the Hunter.
Sponsoring the breakfast is not the only action Compass has taken this year. In July, White Ribbon morning teas were held at four Compass offices. Thanks to the generosity of Compass employees and Compass partners - Monica Clare Recruitment, Forsythes Training, Barr Property & Planning and Hall & Wilcox Lawyers – more than $4,300 was raised for White Ribbon Australia.
White Ribbon Day is an annual, male led, international day for the elimination of violence towards women held on November 25 each year. It was started in Canada in the early 1990s to remember the deaths of 14 women who were massacred by a man at a technical college in Montreal.
The White Ribbon Oath is: “I will stand up, speak out and act to prevent men's violence against women”.
- Domestic and family violence is the principal cause of homelessness for women and children
- One in three women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence towards them by someone known to them
- One in five women over the age of 18 have been stalked
- Violence against women and children costs the Australian economy $14.4 billion.