CENTRAL Victorian communities are set to make a stand against violence.
A working group of Bendigo organisations has arranged an event at the Bendigo Library Gardens from noon – 1pm on November 28.
Greater Bendigo Against Family Violence Working Group chair Margaret Singe said the event included opportunities for people to learn more about the services working in the space, to hear from community members who were working to promote gender equality, and to walk together through the heart of the city to show their support for violence prevention.
There will also be a performance of a song developed by the Bendigo Education Through Music project, which Sergeant Singe said explored the topic of family.
An exhibition will run in the foyer of the Bendigo Bank from November 23 – December 10 sharing the stories of those who have experienced family violence.
The project, titled ‘Walk in their shoes’, opens just ahead of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence.
The United Nations campaign runs from the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25 to Human Rights Day on December 10.
A violence prevention cricket round has been organised for Sunday at California Gully.
“The 16 Days of Activism is about getting the message out that family violence is not acceptable,” Sergeant Singe said.
“It’s a way the community can stand up and say we’ve had enough of it.”
She said the event was also a way of raising awareness of family violence – and all violence against women – and the services available to assist people affected.
Sergeant Singe said that included the perpetrator.
“If we don’t put the services in and around the perpetrator as well, they’re just going to continue the violence,” she said.
This year’s walk against violence will run from the Bendigo Library Gardens through Bull Street, Pall Mall, Mitchell Street and Hargreaves Mall and is expected to start after the three guest speakers, about 12.30pm.
Meanwhile, in Mount Alexander Shire, businesses are being encouraged to decorate their shop windows to demonstrate their support for the 16 Days of Activism.
The displays are expected to feature a pop of orange, the United Nations campaign’s signature colour.
Mount Alexander Family Violence Prevention Network chair, Nicky Renfrey said the windows would be themed around the topic of respect.
“The #respect campaign is a really positive way to start a conversation about the need for gender equality and how it can help prevent family violence,” Ms Renfrey said.
The Central Victorian Primary Care Partnership, one of the 12 Mount Alexander Family Violence Prevention Network members, will also be running a social media campaign during the 16 Days of Activism.
Other network members include Victoria Police, Castlemaine Health, Mount Alexander Shire Council, Castlemaine Community House, the Centre for Non-Violence, Castlemaine Secondary College, Maldon Neighbourhood Centre, Maldon Hospital, Castlemaine District and Community Health, Sports Focus and Castlemaine Women’s Alliance.
If you or someone you know is experiencing violence or sexual assault, call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 373 372 or visit www.1800respect.org.au.
In an emergency, call 000.