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Westpac staff wear white ribbons to say no to violence
Male staff of Westpac Bank of Tonga have committed to eliminating violence by wearing the white ribbon. This marks the first day of the white ribbon campaign which runs until December 10.
General Manager of Westpac Mr Ashleigh Matheson gave his complete support to the cause. “Violence against anyone is not acceptable, and violence against women and children who are vulnerable is especially intolerable.”
This year Tonga has witnessed a record 4 deaths due to domestic violence and over 200 cases of reported domestic and sexual violence. “You’ve got to ask, if there are 200 reported cases, how many more are out there in which women and children are suffering in silence? If it’s going to stop, we have to have a no tolerance attitude” said Matheson.
25 male staff of Westpac took the pledge that violence is preventable, and that violence against women is a crime. The White Ribbon is only for men to wear.
The international White Ribbon campaign marks the 16 days of action against gender violence. Research has shown that domestic and sexual violence happens predominantly to women. 9 out of 10 rape victims are women and 95% of perpetrators of domestic violence are men.
Advocates from the Women and Children Crisis Centre delivered over 1000 ribbons to private and public entities based in Nuku’alofa for their male staff to wear.
“Men hold a lot of the power in our society and their involvement in changing a culture that accepts violence is important. All those who are wearing the ribbon are proud contributors to a happier and safer Kingdom” said ‘Usaia Hemaloto, male advocate at the Women and Children Crisis Centre (WCCC).