22 November 2010

Between 40 - 57 per cent of women will experience physical or sexual violence by a man at some point in their lives, according to a University of Queensland academic.

White Ribbon Day (November 25) is the day declared by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW).

Dr Lynne Baker of the School of Education has worked extensively in the area of domestic violence.

She recently released the book "Counseling Christian Women on How to Deal With Domestic Violence" to provide a valuable resource and tool for victims of domestic violence and those who counsel them.

Dr Baker said that events, both large and small, were being held around the country for White Ribbon Day to highlight the significance of this critical issue.

Such events range from whole school assemblies designed to raise the awareness of young people regarding violence against women, to workshops for people such as teachers, members of the police force, counsellors and health care professionals, and also larger community functions.

She said that the aim of the day itself and also the events was to highlight the need to reach men and boys in the workplace, community and religious institutions, and encourage them to bring an end to violence against women.

"It is hoped that men, at this time, will be motivated to take an oath," she said:

Never to commit violence against women
Never to excuse violence against women and
Never to remain silent about violence against women

"In effect the community as a whole is encouraged to say “No!” to violence against women," she said.

Dr Baker said her book, "Counseling Christian Women on How to Deal With Domestic Violence" was a tool which could be used by those who were in a position to assist women who had been victims of violence.

It highlights the difficulties faced by women and provides a clear understanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and the needs of those who are or have been victims.

She said that the book encouraged the reader to take a firm stand in this area and make a commitment to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; and ensure justice for those who are perishing”.

Media: Amanda Hearn at Australian Academic Press (07 3257 1176).