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.
Executive manager of the White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation Program Ronan Smyth said Samaritans had to meet 15 criteria, including rolling out training for all managers and optional training for all staff, reviewing policies and procedures and introducing leave for victims of domestic violence. He said only 106 organisations had been accredited. “Samaritans is right at the forefront of work to prevent violence against women by being a member of this group,” he said. “They’re taking direct and definitive steps to position themselves to tackle this issue. They’ve shown their values are around gender equality, zero tolerance for violence, respectful relationships and a safe environment for all staff.” Samaritans CEO Peter Gardiner said more than 600 of the organisation’s 770 staff are women.
He challenged other Hunter organisations to join the program.