Campaign calls on community to speak out about violence

Local advocacy group Citizen Tasmania will facilitate a free violence prevention workshop as part of the global campaign, 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence.

Supported by the City of Launceston, the Mentors in Violence Prevention Program will be held at the Northern Suburbs Community Centre in Newnham on Tuesday, December 6 from 9.30am to 2.30pm.

The program aims to provide the tools and skills to help end violence in our community by helping participants learn how to be effective bystanders, who can confront, interrupt or prevent the drivers of violence.

The workshop will be facilitated by Yvette Cehtel, the CEO of Women’s Legal Service Tasmania, and Anj van Rooyen, the Family Violence Practitioner at Engender Equality. To enrol in the workshop, visit www.citizentas.org.au/connect.

16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that starts on November 25 – to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – and runs through until December 10 – Human Rights Day.

City of Launceston Mayor Danny Gibson said the campaign aims to educate and inform people in our community to speak out when they see inequality and disrespect against women and to change behaviours which perpetuate inequality.

“Violence against women is preventable and it is incumbent on all members of our society to speak out and take action to stop violence and to hold perpetrators to account for their actions,” Mayor Gibson said.

“We know that 45 per cent of women have reported that they or another woman they know has experienced some form of violence.

“And even worse, 70 per cent of women say they believe that verbal or physical abuse by a partner has become more common.”

In response to the global campaign, Northern Tasmanian services and community members will undertake 11 walks across 11 business days between November 25 and December 10.

The Council will host one of the 11 walks in the Launceston CBD – leaving the steps of Town Hall on Monday, November 28 at 12.30pm.

City of Launceston staff, community and business leaders and their staff have been invited along with neighbouring councils to walk the 1.36km loop of the CBD, which should take around 30 minutes to complete.

Mayor Gibson said it is hoped that participants will learn how everyone in the community can have influence over preventing violence against women in this generation.

On December 9, the daily walk will be followed by a community event in Civic Square.

Activities will include a community BBQ, children’s activities and information from key services involved in family violence support in the Northern Tasmanian community.

Survivor advocate and author Deborah Thompson will be guest speaker on the day.

If you or someone you know has experienced family or sexual violence, support is available by calling the Family Violence Counselling and Support Service on 1800 608 122, Laurel House Sexual Assault Service on 6334 2740 or 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732).

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