White Ribbon Day – Townsville locals pledge support for Sky Foundation

November 25, 2016

Local businessmen have joined forces with the Sky Foundation in a bid to stamp out domestic violence. Businessmen Brad Webb, Jay Bartlett, Damien Keyes, Michael Koen, Clayton Cook, Martin McDonough and Jarrod Hurst have already taken the pledge and will again be supporting the foundation and White Ribbon Day today.

Sky Foundation founder Kerri Fredericks said the first step in reversing Australia’s shocking record of domestic and family violence against women was by acknowledging it is a community issue and not a gender issue.

Ms Fredericks said men were being encouraged to take the pledge, speak out and act to prevent violence against women.

“In Townsville there is no shortage of such men,” she said. “From our formation in 2013, men in our local community have played a strong part in raising funds and awareness for this important cause.

“It is with the support of both men and women in our community that we have raised over $470,000 and countless thousands in gifts, food and basic supplies for women and children in ­crisis.”

But Ms Fredericks said more needed to be done to put a stop to the scourge, with the number of breaches of domestic violence orders up 70 per cent on last year.

Realtor Damien Keyes said events like White Ribbon Day helped shine a light on what was often a hidden problem.

“We can stand together against those perpetrators of domestic violence,” he said, saying that such encouragement would help victims to seek help.

The foundation is also supported by Justice David North of the Supreme Court and local barrister, Michael Cowen QC.

Mr Cowen said real men should not stand by and do nothing.

“Domestic abuse is abhorrent. The community needs to stand together and confront this shameful issue,” he said.