Members of the community will stand up for the safety and wellbeing of women when they take part in the Bendigo Walks Against Violence event on Monday.
The White Ribbon event will feature a talk from advocate Tarang Chawla, followed by a walk through Bendigo’s CBD and a barbecue lunch.
Mr Chawla started a campaign to end violence against women, ‘Not one more Niki’, following the horrific murder of his 23-year-old sister Nikita at the hands of her husband in 2015.
The 2017 Young Australian of the Year finalist and lawyer raises awareness of the factors that contribute to and exacerbate violence against women in Australia, including cultural attitudes, policy shortcomings and failings in the judicial system.
White Ribbon events will also be held on Saturday, White Ribbon Day, with information on violence against women and local support services to be handed out at the Bendigo parkrun at Kennington Reservoir.
The Bendigo District and the Emu Valley cricket associations have named Saturday’s round the White Ribbon round, with players to wear white ribbons and take the oath to prevent violence against women.
The series of events aim to raise awareness of family violence and violence against women, with women overwhelmingly the victims of violence in the home or that inflicted by a partner.
“Research shows only 40 per cent of family violence is actually reported,” organiser and police family violence advisor Sergeant Margaret Singe said.
“We’re trying to get that up to 100 per cent, so we can make sure all victims of family violence are safe.”
The City of Greater Bendigo has also shown support by planting white petunias in the shape of a ribbon in Rosalind Park’s conservatory gardens.
White Ribbon is a campaign aiming to engage men in the effort to stop violence against women.
Sergeant Singe said it was important that men put pressure on their peers who acted in violent ways towards women to change.
“Everyone needs to stand up to say ‘we’re not going to put up with that’,” she said.
While both men and women suffer violence, men make up the vast majority of perpetrators, and women are more likely to suffer violence at the hands of someone they know, often at home.
The United Nations defines men’s violence against women as any gender-based violent act that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm, including threats and coercion.
People are invited to attend Mr Chawla’s talk and participate in the walk.
The event will begin with Mr Chawla’s talk at Ulumbarra Theatre at 11.30am for a 12pm start and the walk will follow.