While many Australians enjoy a comparatively safe and peaceful lifestyle, the 2012 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Personal Safety Survey presented by Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety (www.anrows.org.au) demonstrated that:
- 1 in 3 women over 15 years had experienced physical violence
- 1 in 5 women experience sexual violence
- 1 in 4 women emotional abuse from a current or former partner
- 36% of women experienced physical or sexual violence from someone they knew
- 1 in 3 children under 15 witness or are victims of violence
Surprisingly there is still such shame, secrecy and fear around family and domestic violence in Australia that 58% have never contacted the police.
It is also common for communities and individuals to think that this issue does not concern them or those they know. However, 1 woman is killed every week due to family violence in Australia (Chan and Payne, 2013).
Family violence touches every culture, race and socio-economic level of society in city and rural Australia. The best way to counteract its influence is to educate our children in respectful relationships in schools and involve our communities in this process. If we don't talk about the harms and demonstrate zero tolerance for violence in our communities it can continue to flourish in the silence.
Our community attitude teaches children what is or is not acceptable behaviour. If we accept, keep secret, condone or minimise violence we teach the adults, law makers, parents, perpetrators and victims of the next generation to accept family and domestic violence.
Canowindra is holding a White Ribbon Day March to show support for respectful relationships on 25 November 2016. Canowindra Health Service will be joined by Canowindra High students and staff and would like to invite the Canowindra community to march with us to raise awareness.
The march will begin promptly at 2pm starting from the corner of Ryall Street, down Gaskill Street to the Memorial Park. Barry Merritt, a White Ribbon Day Ambassador and other speakers will be speaking at the event, calling for an end to the intimidation, emotional, financial, social and physical abuse of women and children in our community.
Gaskill Street will be closed to traffic for a short period during the march. For further information contact Anna Cobb, Social Worker at Canowindra Primary and Community Health Centre on (02) 6340 3300.
Media enquiries: Brendan Williams, Media Manager, Western NSW Local Health District via firstname.lastname@example.org