CENTRE for Non-Violence chief executive Margaret Augerinos is calling on governments to invest in violence prevention.
Ms Augerinos said support services such as the Centre for Non-Violence were stretched and in need of more resources to respond and provide help to women and children who have been affected by violence.
“Locally, we have a world-class program in Solving the Jigsaw that still continues without government support,” she said.
“However, it is important to note that awareness and prevention work will increase demand for crisis and support services.”
Ms Augerinos said it was also important to ensure police and the justice system had appropriate resources to provide a good response.
She said White Ribbon Day and the promotion surrounding the campaign was a great way to stand up and say no to all forms of violence against women.
“White Ribbon Day is a national and international campaign to engage the community – men in particular – to stand up and say no to all forms of violence against women,” Ms Augerinos said.
“Through engaging prominent men in the community as ambassadors, key messages of nonviolence, respect and equality towards women are promoted.
“White Ribbon Day also ensures that messages of ending violence against women engage the whole community, and that it is not only women who are promoting this message.”
Ms Augerinos said White Ribbon Day was a very important event.
“It is making an impact because the community is engaging in White Ribbon Day,” she said.
“Our local community has really embraced White Ribbon Day over the years, and this year’s events are further extending community involvement.”
Ms Augerinos said violence against women occurred in every community, including Bendigo.
“In recent years, reporting rates to police – as one indication of prevalence – have been increasing,” she said.
“It is not clear if more violence is occurring, or if increased awareness is now leading to increased reporting.
“In any event, campaigns such as WRD deliver key messages about violence being unacceptable and promoting what support is available to victims.”