23 October, 2015

Media release                

White Ribbon Day 2015

So No to Domestic Violence

On November 25, Australians will join together to show their support to put an end to violence against women. In Australia, an average of one woman a week is killed by a current or former partner. Relationships Australia is supporting the White Ribbon campaign and the many people and organisations who say no to domestic violence.

CEO of Relationships Australia Qld, Dr Ian Law, said: “White Ribbon Day is hugely important as it is about taking a stand to prevent violence against women.  Women and children have the to feel safe from harm.”

“At Relationships Australia Queensland, we see the major impact that domestic and family violence has on families, including children.  There is never any excuse for violent or abusive behaviour and White Ribbon Day is the one day a year that is about standing up against all violence towards women and children.  It’s a time to say this behaviour is not acceptable in our society. ” 

It’s well recognised that women are at the greatest risk of violence from people they know, and often within intimate relationships. People turn a blind eye to ‘domestic violence’ where they wouldn’t tolerate an ‘assault’ on the street. They are the same thing.

Healthy relationships are built on the values of equality and respect. In a healthy relationship, power is shared and there is no attempt to make one partner subject to the will of the other. Non-violent communication is used to resolve conflict and when people need support to work through relationship roadblocks, they get it.

As part of White Ribbon Day on November 25 men and women around Australia are encouraged to wear a white ribbon to demonstrate their support for the White Ribbon Campaign. White Ribbon Day is Australia’s longest running campaign to stop violence against women and is led by thousands of male Ambassadors.

Relationships Australia run Family Safety Programs for men who have used violence in their relationships. Other Relationships Australia services include counselling for individuals couples and families; parenting and relationship education; support for families going through separation; specialist services for young people leaving out of home care, refugee families and Aboriginal communities; workplace counselling and training; employee assistance programs for companies; and training for family support professionals.

To find out more about Relationships Australia services call 1300 364 277.


The vast majority of dangerous, abusive and violent behaviour which occurs in the privacy of people's homes is committed by men against women.  The most recent information on violence in Australia comes from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Personal Safety Survey 2005 (national survey of 16,400 adults in Australian aged 18 years and over) found2:

Just under half a million Australian women reported they had experienced physical or sexual violence or sexual assault in the past 12 months.

More than a million women had experienced physical or sexual assault by their male current or ex-partner since the age of 15 (some women may be counted twice if they experienced both physical and sexual assault). 

37.8% of women who experienced physical assault in the 12 months before the survey said the perpetrator was a current or previous male partner and 34.4% said the perpetrator was a male family member or friend.  Most incidences of physical assault against women in the 12 months prior to 2005 were committed in a home (64.1%).

33.3% of women had experienced physical violence since the age of 15.

19.1% of women had experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.

12.4% of women had been sexually abused before the age of 15, compared with 4.5% of men, between 1996 and 2005.

64% of women who experienced physical assault and 81.1% of women who experienced sexual assault still did not report it to police.  

The majority of violence against men is committed by other men. Of men who reported that they had experienced physical violence in the 12 months before the survey, 73.7% said that the perpetrator was a male.


1) Australian Institute of Criminology, Children’s exposure to domestic violence in Australia, June 2011

2) Department of Families, Housing and Community Affairs Fact Sheet 2 Women's Safety

Ref: Chan, A. and Payne, J. (2013). Homicide in Australia: 2008-09 to 2009-10, National Homicide Monitoring Program annual report. Canberra, Australia: Australian Institute of Criminology.

White Ribbon Day is an annual event of the White Ribbon Foundation. It invites men to engage in the campaign to end violence against women, and specifically, to challenge attitudes which condone or support violence.