Service takes stand

March 01, 2017

Benalla Health continues to lead the way with initiatives directed towards the prevention of family violence in its community.

This rural Victoria health service, which employs more than 300 people, has implemented a broad range of actions to address a concerning trend, which has seen the incidence of family violence increase significantly during recent years.

Chief executive officer Janine Holland said that as part of the White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation process, the Benalla Health Board had approved the following public statement of Benalla Health’s commitment to the Prevention and Response to Family Violence.

The wording of the commitment is:

‘‘Benalla Health believes that all people have the right to live safely and free from all forms of abuse.

‘‘It is a basic human right to be respected as an individual. Benalla Health believes that violence against anyone is unacceptable.

‘‘While those experiencing family violence/abuse are generally women, it is acknowledged that men may also experience family violence and are entitled to the same level of support.

‘‘As a health service and collective of people working in our community we are committed to:

●Eliminating violence and abuse in the workplace and in the community; we actively support the White Ribbon campaign to eliminate family violence;

●Providing practical support, where possible, to staff who are in or who wish to leave an abusive relationship;

●Providing our staff with the necessary training and resources to ensure people who are experiencing family violence, or have experienced family violence, have timely access to support; and

●Changing attitudes and behaviours that are the primary cause of family violence.

‘‘A staff member who has or is experiencing family violence will not be discriminated against in terms of their current and future employment or career opportunities.’’

The document is signed by board chair Brendan Smith and Ms Holland.

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