News & Media

CFA brigades make a stand against family violence

By: CFA News

Category: Community Safety, Health & Safety

  5.59 PM 28 July, 2017

Location: District 12 News

Views: 5713

For CFA brigades Kinglake and Toolangi, speaking out against family violence is a message both want to make loud and clear to their local communities and beyond.

Four members of the two brigades took part in this Sunday’s Run Melbourne event. The members walked the 10km heat in full structural gear, Breathing Apparatus (BA) equipment with large white ribbons on their backs to signify their support for the charity organisation White Ribbon, whose purpose is stop violence against women throughout the community.

For a number of weeks in the lead up to the event, the members walked around 11kms nearly every day through the centre of town in the same equipment they completed the course in.

Kinglake Fire Brigade Captain, Steven Bell said it was been incredible to see the support of the entire community back their cause.

“Not a training session went by where we weren't joined by a member of the community or the brigade, getting a wave or beep of a horn as we walked by.

Their motivation for supporting the important work of White Ribbon is one that hits close to home. Participating Kinglake member Samantha Moffitt, firefighter for over 14 years, speaks out about her own experience of domestic violence.

“As a mother and a woman, it doesn’t affect just you; it affects the children and the wider community.

Sam said the overwhelming support of her Captain, Steven Bell, fellow brigade members and the local community was invaluable.

“It’s sent a powerful message to have the male members of the brigade stand by my side and say they won’t be silent about the issue.

“I hope this shows other women who have had the same experience they aren’t alone,” said Sam

Kinglake Captain, Steven Bell recalls over the years, responding to incidents involving domestic disputes, an issue which he said sadly has become more prevalent in areas affected by the devastation of Black Saturday fires.

“Those communities have been through a lot, our brigade and others, most of us know someone who has been affected by family violence.

As a firefighter, it’s important to make a stand as a leader in the community, and as men, we can’t sit back and let this remain a hidden issue.

“Displaying the white ribbon on our trucks says this isn’t acceptable, it’s time to take action through awareness and that’s what we are hoping to achieve by completing Run Melbourne this Sunday.”

Since 2015, CFA has supported the White Ribbon movement through taking the oath led by Chief Officer Steve Warrington.

The oath reads as follows: “I swear never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women”

Sam had the support of her fellow brigade members Steven Bell and Glenn Broadhurst accompanied by Toolangi Captain, Dawn Harthog and her sister.

To find out more about White Ribbon visit  
CFA support services
If you are in an emergency situation or at immediate risk of harm, contact emergency services on Triple Zero (000).
If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Headspace on 1800 650 890.
CFA Welfare Support Services
Member Assistance Program: 1300 795 711 (24 hours)
Peer Support Program: contact your local peer coordinator
Chaplaincy Program: 1800 337 068 (24 hours)
HeadsUP online resources:
Last Updated: 01 August 2017