HUNDREDS of Bendigo residents came together yesterday to help celebrate the White Ribbon movement.
Men, women and children gathered in Hargreaves Mall for a community barbecue in honour of White Ribbon Day, Australia’s only national male-led violence prevention campaign, designed to stop violence against women.
Family violence advisor Sergeant Margaret Singe said the people of Bendigo had continued to support the campaign every year.
“It has been a really good event,” she said.
“It would be nice to see some men because White Ribbon Day is about focusing on men driving the awareness campaign, but we still had a few men around which was fantastic.”
Sergeant Singe said a lot of people in the community didn’t realise how prevalent family violence was in the community.
“It is something that is usually kept in the home and we don’t want that to happen,” she said.
“We want people to get help and we want people to get support.”
Sergeant Singe encouraged community members to speak up when it came to violence against men and women. “If you see something, say something,” she said.
“That is what the awareness campaign is all about, if you are out and you do see something call 000.
“It may end up being nothing but it could be something and it could be the first step that that victim takes in having something done to change their situation.”
White Ribbon Ambassadors, Haven chief executive Ken Marchingo, Bendigo Business Council chief executive Patrick Falconer and City of Greater Bendigo manager of strategy Nick Byrne were at the barbecue.
Mr Byrne said it was great to see Bendigo had become a leader on this issue.
“I think it is fantastic that we are demonstrating our leadership on the issue and striving for gender equality in our community,” he said.