Domestic violence prevention group, White Ribbon Australia, is taking legal action against a US-based men’s right group which has launched a website under a similar name.
A US-based men's rights group has purchased a similar domain name to promote its own cause. The URL whiteribbon.org directs to a website that looks very similar to whiteribbon.org.australia, but is run by a group calling itself 'A Voice for Men'.
It also uses the name 'White Ribbon', but claims to be raising awareness about domestic abuse as a non-gendered issue, highlighting men also as victims and the effects on children.
The "copycat" website claimed that violence against women was an exaggerated myth at the cost of men.
The group claimed on its website that the idea of a female victim of domestic violence was manufactured, accusing universities and researches on domestic violence prevention of man hating.
National Executive Engagement Officer for White Ribbon Australia, Fayssal Sari, told SBS the group was using deceitful tactics to mislead people who had genuine concerns for victims of domestic violence.
Listen: Fayssal Sari speaks with Widyan Al Ubudy.
“They're doing things like posting their web link on our Facebook and Twitter feed to try and draw people to their site and donate money to them," he said.
"So funnelling people who have a sincere desire to prevent violence against women and their good intentions away from what we do to their site and their cause."
White Ribbon Australia chief executive Libby Davies accused the group of trying to undermine its campaign to stop violence against women and children.
"A Voice for Men is using almost fraudulent practices to guide people away from White Ribbon by using a url called whiteribbon.org," she told a Senate committee hearing into domestic violence.
Founder of ‘A Voice for Men’, Paul Elam has denied any wrong doing, claiming all practices his organisation had engaged in had been legal.
Since the threat of legal action, the Texas-based group was asking for donations to fund their legal defence.
The Voice for Men website states:
"WhiteRibbon.org is owned and operated by A Voice for Men, not affiliated with any other White Ribbon organization. After receiving many veiled legal threats, we will be routing all donations here to a legal war chest to defend our rights."