Samaritans is the first Hunter-based organisation to become a White Ribbon Workplace, after completing a rigorous 18 month accreditation process that affirmed its commitment to preventing violence against women.

On April 10 the Samaritans Foundation celebrated their accreditation as a White Ribbon Workplace.

Samaritans is the only Hunter-based workplace to be accredited by White Ribbon thus far, leading the way locally in taking a stand against violence against women.

“Samaritans has been acknowledged as an employer taking active and effective steps to stop violence against women. We are very excited about this announcement and will continue to standby our commitment toward true gender equality which means that we will never tolerate violence,” Mr Gardiner, CEO of Samaritans, said.

White Ribbon Australia’s Workplace Accreditation Program is a world first program that provides organisations with the tools to be able to respond to incidents of violence, whether it occurs inside or outside the workplace, and to prevent this violence from occurring in the first instance.

“The accreditation process has been a long and involved one. It has included training and surveying all of our staff, embedding White Ribbon prevention strategies across Samaritans workplaces and hosting events to raise awareness for the cause,” Mr Gardiner said.

“Samaritans has at present approximately 770 staff, with over 600 being women. Statistics tell us that 1 in 4 women is a victim of domestic violence and so with a high percentage of female stuff, we see it as being incredibly important to empower Samaritans staff and volunteers to prevent workplace violence against women before it occurs,” Mr Gardiner said.

Over the last two years, three Samaritans staff members have become Ambassadors following a rigorous selection program, including Rob Dawson, Stephen Groombridge and Craig Williamson and a further 370 staff pledged their commitment to end violence again women by taking the White Ribbon Oath.

“Samaritans is proud of the commitment and persistence of its staff to ensure women’s safety is a man’s issue too. We will continue to walk the talk with our Accreditation towards ensuring that we continue to provide safe environments for women to work and speaking out about injustices within our community,” Mr Gardiner said.

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