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CFA says no to violence against women
Encouraging firefighters to take a stand when it comes to violence against women should be core business for CFA, according to Chief Officer Steve Warrington.
“We pride ourselves on keeping Victorians safe, and that attitude needs to extend beyond the fireground,” Steve said.
Addressing staff at Dandenong Fire Station on Friday 24 November 2017, Steve said White Ribbon Day was an opportunity to improve awareness of the signs of disrespect or abusive behaviour.
“We have traditionally been a male-dominated organisation – that includes career and volunteer firefighters. Increasing gender diversity is important, but so is individual responsibility to call out poor behaviour.
On average, one woman is killed every week in Australia by domestic abuse.
“This is an appalling statistic. We simply must do everything we can to stop this from continuing,” Steve said.
“We know we have to lift our game when it comes to inclusion and increasing diversity in CFA – that’s a priority for CFA leaders. But there’s also a role each and every person within the organisation can play.
“Regardless of whether you’re at headquarters, in a district or at a brigade, you can make a difference to help stop violence against women.
“Speak up and call out behaviour that’s disrespectful. Don’t wait for someone else to take a stand.”
CFA is participating in the grassroots program ‘Rural Challenge’ to further develop leadership skills, community action and promote gender equality.
Working with other organisations to provide primary prevention of violence against women, a framework ‘Change the story’ has been created by Our Watch, VicHealth and Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety, and CFA is able to tap into this to deliver a consistent and integrated vision.