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Provider takes a stand against domestic violence

Employers have an important role to play in the prevention and response to family violence, an Australian aged care provider has said.

Benetas was announced as one of 27 employers to be accredited as a White Ribbon Workplace, bringing the total number in Australian to 107, but chief executive Sandra Hills wants this number to be higher.

“We would like to see more employers pursuing White Ribbon Accreditation,” Hills said. “By doing so, we can drive social change to help end family violence.”

Chief executive of White Ribbon Australia, Libby Davies, said the 27 newly-accredited organisations have committed time and resources to review and enhance their HR policies, procedures and the way in which they communicate with staff. “They have delivered training to managers and staff on what it means to work in a safe and respectful workplace,” Davies said.

Hills said disclosure is often traumatic for people experiencing domestic violence, and added it can also be a stressful time for managers receiving the disclosure.

During the accreditation process, Benetas worked with family violence expert Petra Begnell to train managers to recognise the warning signs of domestic violence, respond to a disclosure of violence, and refer an individual to an appropriate service.

Benetas white ribbon ambassador Chris Karagiannis said this type of training and support for managers is crucial.

Karagiannis said: “Staff experiencing domestic abuse may appear anxious or upset, have trouble concentrating, receive numerous unwanted telephone calls during the day, or take a lot of sick leave, in addition to injuries which don’t seem to fit the explanation.

“Managers need to be able to recognise these signs, and have the confidence to respond appropriately.”

Other organisations to achieve accreditation in 2017 include Benalla Health, Centacare, The Royal Women’s Hospital.

Click below to hear more from Karagiannis.

The National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line can be reached on 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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