Anti-domestic violence charity White Ribbon Australia today announced it has entered liquidation, telling supporters the decision was made over concerns for “the organisation’s future sustainability.”
“It is with profound sadness that the board of White Ribbon Australia informs the community and supporters that it has taken the very difficult decision to close its doors,” the organisation said on its website.
The Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission states White Ribbon Australia took just over $6 million in income during its last reporting period, but spent $6.9 million in the same timeframe.
White Ribbon Australia was responsible for White Ribbon Day nationally, an annual initiative it hailed as “a day to bring awareness to the issue and encourage Australians to stand up, speak out and act” against men’s violence against women.
The next White Ribbon Day is scheduled for Friday November 22. The organisation encouraged supporters to continue with their scheduled activities, but White Ribbon Australia’s involvement with the upcoming event is unclear.
Despite its advocacy for the end of violence against women, White Ribbon Australia faced intense criticism last year when it moved to retract its statement in support of women’s reproductive rights. That position was eventually reversed.
White Ribbon also faced controversy for focusing on male ambassadors in its marketing material.
Speaking to PEDESTRIAN.TV in 2016, one service provider for a separate women’s charity claimed “White Ribbon tends to allow men to mark themselves as allies by merely wearing a ribbon and posting a selfie on social media.”
Those concerns were highlighted when, in 2015, White Ribbon Australia congratulated White Ribbon ambassador and former NSW Premier Mike Baird on his re-election victory.
Baird’s Liberal government would go on to stall on the decriminalisation of abortion in NSW, which was only overturned last month.
His government also ended full-time funding for the Women’s Family Law Support Service, an organisation which provides support for vulnerable women and children in court proceedings.
In June this year, Feminist Legal Clinic principal solicitor Anna Kerr told the ABC “without funding… that will be the end of the service as we know it.”
“Even though White Ribbon Australia’s journey ends here, we know that the work of our partners communities will continue,” White Ribbon Australia said in today’s statement.
“Eliminating men’s violence against women must remain a priority.”
Help is available.
If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.
If you’d like to speak to someone about domestic violence, please call the 1800
Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online.
Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.Image: Joe Castro / AAP Image