Uniting Communities and Katrine Hildyard MP will be making White Ribbon Valentine’s Day cards today to encourage men to take a stand against violence against women.

‘Domestic violence never rests; in fact this Valentine’s Day, SA police can expect to respond to the usual 30 or so domestic violence cases just like any other day,’ says Uniting Communities’ Chief Executive Simon Schrapel. ‘With most domestic violence going unreported, this is just the tip of the iceberg.’

There will be a card-making event at Hope’s Cafe on the Parade at Beulah Park at 1pm today and Uniting Communities’ staff across South Australia have been sent a DIY kit to make their own cards.

‘We will be making White Ribbon Valentine’s day hearts today to demonstrate how seriously we take this issue. As one of the state’s leading community service providers, and also as a major employer, it is our responsibility to take a stand,’ says Mr Schrapel.

‘The White Ribbon symbolises men taking responsibility for their own role in stopping violence against women.’

Uniting Communities staff will be joined by Katrine Hilyard, MP, Member for Reynell and Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier. She is a tireless crusader against domestic violence.

‘It is unacceptable that more than one woman per week dies in Australia as a result of domestic violence; that it is now the leading cause of death, disability and ill health amongst women aged 15 to  44; and that more than one billion women and girls globally experience violence in their lifetime,’ Ms Hildyard says.

‘I heartily congratulate Uniting Communities on this initiative; it is only through everyone in our community taking a stand that we will finally end violence against women. Uniting Communities does a great job helping women rebuild their lives after domestic violence and supporting men who want to stop or prevent inflicting violence.

‘But this is not just about what we do at work; each man has to take a personal stand against domestic violence as well.’

Mr Schrapel says that he is encouraging all men working for Uniting Communities to take the White Ribbon Oath to “swear never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women”.

‘I will be encouraging them to take personal responsibility for their role in stopping domestic violence,’ he says. ‘In doing so they will be asked to take this message to their friends and networks to help build the movement to end violence.’

For media comment:
Simon Schrapel
0411 643 132

For information:
David Winderlich
0419 723 204