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District 2 takes a stand
We know that preventing violence against women is an important community issue, but many of us just don’t know how we can help.
That’s why CFA North West Region, in partnership with Women’s Health Loddon Mallee, is giving members an opportunity to learn how to take a stand through Bystander Training. The first session kicked off in District 2 on August 3rd.
"I’ve learned that challenging bad behaviours and attitudes is a safe and responsible way to help prevent violence against women," said Trent McKinnon, acting Operations Manager District 2. "And as a community organisation, CFA has a real opportunity to act as partners in the fight."
The training is an initiative of the CFA NWR Violence Prevention Advisory Group (VPAG), where lead community organisations from around the region are working together to promote cultures of non-violence within CFA and the broader community. The VPAG is chaired by NWR CFA Assistant Chief Officer, Mike Wassing.
"We’re fortunate to have great partners like Women’s Health Loddon Mallee give opportunities like this to our members," said Mike. "I’m sure these sessions will help get them thinking about what we all can do to make our communities safe from violence."
The training was delivered by Marnie Jewel, Health Promotion Coordinator for Women’s Health Loddon Mallee and Jeremy Forbes, co-founder of HALT, a local group building bridges between tradies and mental health support groups.
"Workplaces are both directly impacted by domestic violence and can play a key role in influencing behaviours and attitudes," said Marnie. "Bystander training is a critical part of our Take a Stand program. It’s all about helping organisations like the CFA improve their capacity of their staff to act."
The 90-minute session aimed to provide individuals with knowledge, confidence and practical tools to actively promote respectful relationships. It covered some of the factors that cause and contribute to violence against women such as sexist attitudes and behaviours, gender inequity and condoning and tolerating violence through non-intervention.
"The session was interactive and consisted of small group activities, videos and the presentation of the shocking statistics about violence against women,"said Trent. "The Keeping Safe activity was a real eye opener. I’d never seriously considered how much women really do to try and stay safe."
For more information about Bystander action, watch Vic Health’s video: