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Teaming up to tackle gender-based violence

A larger-than-life white ribbon will be proudly displayed at The Hutchinson Builders Centre to symbolise the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys’ commitment to tackling gender-based violence and sexual harassment in the community.

The white ribbon has been passed on to the Cowboys by major partner Townsville City Council ahead of White Ribbon Day on Friday 19 November.

Cowboys members and fans, and members of the general public are invited to drop in to Cowboys HQ to sign the white ribbon and pledge their support and commitment to addressing the issue during the upcoming 16 Days of Activism running from 25 November.

White Ribbon Day precedes the United Nations’ 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence, an international campaign lending a voice to the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

The most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows one in six women and one in 17 men experience partner violence, while one in two women and one in four men experience sexual harassment.

Cowboys CEO Jeff Reibel said gender-based violence and sexual harassment is a scourge on the community that must be addressed to improve the safety and wellbeing of the North Queensland community.

“As one of North Queensland’s most recognisable organisations, we have a responsibility to shine a light on the issues that affect our community,” he said.

“Gender-based violence, sexual harassment and other forms of domestic and family abuse impacts many people in North Queensland, and we are committed to generating discussion and raising awareness against this important social issue.

“By gratefully accepting this highly visible white ribbon from Townsville City Council, the Cowboys pledge their support as a club to help eliminate gender-based violence to enhance the safety and wellbeing of our community.

“Everybody has a part to play in stamping out gender-based violence in the workplace and the wider community.”

The club has a strong history of raising awareness around gender-based and family and domestic violence, partnering with related community organisations through its Community Corner program, also supported by Townsville City Council, and dedicating game day messaging toward awareness and prevention.

The Cowboys regularly partner with the Queensland Government to raise broader community awareness, dedicating a home game to the ‘Not Now, Not Ever’ community initiative, a partnership that has been in place since 2015 and continues to grow each year.

Following the announcement of the 2022 NRL draw, the Cowboys are now working towards their game-day domestic violence awareness campaign and partnering with related community organisations to tackle the issue in the local community.

Townsville City Council CEO Prins Ralston said it was important for the city’s largest organisations to band together and commit to ending domestic and family violence.

“Council is proud to share its vision for a domestic and family violence-free Townsville with Cowboys,” Dr Ralston said.

“Domestic and family violence is prevalent in every corner of society and it’s essential that all Townsville locals stand up and speak out against it.

“Council is proud to have achieved White Ribbon Australia workplace accreditation and will continue to work towards ending all forms of gender-based violence.”

White Ribbon Australia encourages people to stop gender-based violence by ‘Seeing’ abusive and disrespectful behaviour, ‘Talking’ to others when they witness abuse, ‘Offering support’ through intervention and ‘Preventing’ through education and action.

For more information on White Ribbon Australia, visit whiteribbon.org.au.

If you are experiencing violence or suspect someone else is, contact 1800 RESPECT for advice and support. In an emergency, call 000.