Please note the WRF corrected the errors (mentioned on this page) in the schools kit late afternoon Tuesday 24th November 2009, after being alerted to the MRA Press Release of the previous day, but the problem still remain the kits have already been downloaded with the wrong information being given to our school boys and girls. See updated pages at end.

Explanatory detail of the statistical and other errors (resulting from deliberate misinformation or incompetency) made by the White Ribbon Foundation Campaign. Link to a pdf version 2009 White Ribbon Day Errors in School kits pdf.

In their attempts to over emphasise the level of violence against younger girls and women they have stated 27.2% of 18-24 year old women had experienced an incident of physical assault in the past 12 months compared to 12 percent of older women. 

Notwithstanding that it is a stupid comparison in the first place…. 18 – 24 years is over 7 years of figures and 45 – 54 is 10 years. (958,964 to 1,409, 106 respectively) – bound to be considerably different.

A quick look at the figures from the ABS Personal Safety Survey (page 28), reveals the 27.2% is a percentage of the total number of women who experienced physical assault in the previous 12 months, i.e. 242,000. Not as WRF would have us believe …  a percentage of the total population of 18 – 24 year old women in 2005.

The maths looks like this :

 242,000 x 27.2% ÷ 100 = 65,825 women

As a percentage of the total female population 18 – 24 year olds in 2005 ,

 i.e. 65,825 ÷ 945,700* x 100  =   7% (6.96%)    NOT   27.2% as WRF claim

*(945,700 Total female population in 2005, 18 to 24 years Table 6 ABS PSS p.20).

 Similarly the same ABS PSS table on page 28 identified  that 12% women  45 – 54 years of age had experienced an incident of physical assault in the past 12 months.

Same misinterpretation of the figures occurs…. 

The 12% of 242,000 (total number of victims) = 29,040 as being the total number of women 45 – 54 years who experienced physical assault  

As a percentage of the total female population aged 45 – 54 years in 2005,

i.e. 29,040 ÷1,398,600** x 100 =  2% (2.08%)  NOT 12% as WRF claims

**(Total female population 45 – 54 years in 2005 is 1,398,600, Table 6 ABS PSS p.20)

 Returning to the first dot point the WRD makes on page 7 of their school kit:

  • For young women the risk is 3 to 4 times higher than the risk for women overall,

in the light of the above, is incorrect as well. 

As 7% of 18-24 year old young women experienced physical assault during the previous 12 months and  the percentage of the total female population aged 18 plus experiencing physical assault  is  3.1% (see page 5 ABS PSS),  slightly over twice the risk would be a more appropriate comment, rather than 3 to 4 times higher!

I think you will agree it makes a world of difference to claim nearly 30% of young women have been assaulted in the previous 12 months compared to the statistic of under 7% of young women have experienced a physical assault in the past 12 months.

There is more to come with comments on page 6 such as :

Violence can have a huge impact on a woman’s life. It can affect her mental, emotional and physical health and may even result in her death.

The Victorian Government’s report “Health Costs of Violence (2004) found that:

             “Violence is the leading contributor to death, disability and illness of rwomen aged 15-44, being responsible for more of the disease                      burden than any well-known risk factors such as hig blood pressure, smoking and obesity.”                     

A correction of this misinformation can be found on the One in Three website at

“Claimed: “Domestic violence is the main cause of death, disability and illness in Victorian women 15-44 years. It is more harmful than smoking, alcohol and obesity combined”
Facts: The top five causes of death, disability and illness [combined] for Australian women 15-44 years are anxiety and depression, migraine, type 2 diabetes, asthma and schizophrenia. Violence doesn’t make the top ten leading causes6. This ‘statistic’ remains uncorrected.”

And then on pg 8…….

Once again courtesy of 

White Ribbon Foundation claims:

Claimed:  “Males are more likely than females to agree with statements [such as]… ‘when a guy hits a girl it’s not really a big deal’”
Fact:  31% of young males and 19% of young females agreed with the statement “when girl hits a guy it’s really not a big deal.” The same survey found that while males hitting females was seen, by virtually all young people surveyed, to be unacceptable, it appeared to be quite acceptable for a girl to hit a boy7. This error was widely reported as fact by the Australian media, politicians and NGOs.

Commendably, the WRF issued a correction, and subsequently some media outlets such as the ABC corrected their reports, while most others remain uncorrected.

See for more false claims from the White Ribbon Campaign.

Or on Page 9

Students and Staff might like to read this section together.

“Violence against women is the great silent crime of our time. It is the silence that makes it so insidious… Violence against women needs to move from the great silence to be part of a continuing nationa conversation… Because we need to change the way men think. We need to change the way some boys think. And that cannot be done in silence.” Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, White Ribbon Foundation Annual White Tie Dinner 17 September 2008

We agree violence against females should cease, but so should violence against males whether the perpetrator is male or female. Why as a society are we encouraged to only consider violence against women to be a crime in need of attention, when at least one in three of the victims of  violence are male

 And here is the suggestion for wrist bands contained in the Schools’ Kit on page


Food based events are a good way to involve both girls and boys in the White Ribbon campaign. Single-sex schools might like to hold one of these events with their brother/sister school. You could sell white ribbons and wristbands at your cake stall or sausage sizzle. Food-based activities will also work well with other activities , such as a sports day.

In fact WRD are selling the wristbands…. Via their website on a sale or return basis. Suzanne Grae, The Body Shop and the Salvos Shops are also distributing and selling the paraphernalia.

We wonder if it is so important to get this message out to boys, why not give away the ribbons and wristbands or is it more about raising funds for the already well-funded White Ribbon Foundation? 

 Amended Information from the Schools kit:

Tuesday 24/11/09 17.25

Just to report… the Schools kit on the White Ribbon Foundation website has now been altered.

 The problem still remains – this information has been widely distributed in order to ‘educate’ boys about violence, without saying anything to girls about their behavior.

Sue Price
Men’s Rights Agency
P.O. Box 28, Waterford, Qld 4133, Australia
Tel: 07 3805 5611 Fax: 07 3200 8769