The annual walk to raise awareness and stand against family violence is on again on Friday, 22 November in Stawell.
According to the Crime Statistics Agency, there were 202 family violence incidents in Northern Grampians Shire in the 12 months to June 2018 leading to 165 Family Violence Safety Notices.
Grampians Community Health Family Violence Specialist and Stawell Walk against Violence committee member, Naomi Lovell, said the organisation has been an active member of the Annual Stawell Walk against Violence committee since its development in 2017.
“Family violence is a major issue, worldwide, and Grampians Community Health’s Family Violence team supported over 600 people affected by family violence during the last financial year,” she said.
“Unfortunately, the figures in this year do not appear to be noticeably declining. This walk is an important event as it encourages community discourse around this very pervasive issue and how we can stop it.”
Grampians Community Health, along with the Stawell Neighbourhood House inc., Northern Grampians Shire Council, and the Victorian State Government supports and participates in the Stawell Walk against Violence because it, and community events like it, enhance people’s understanding of this serious issue.
“We hope this increases understanding and encourages people to reflect on their actions and determine how they can best support ending family violence in their community,” Ms Lovell said.
“No matter where the violence occurs, what form it takes, and whom it impacts, the trauma of its experience has lifelong consequences and we need to work together to end it.”
Northern Grampians Shire Council Mayor, Cr Murray Emerson, said the council proudly stands against family violence by participating in the walk.
“As community leaders and as an organisation, the Northern Grampians Shire Council has zero-tolerance for family violence, or any violence, in our region,” he said.
“This walk is an important public display to show that we will not accept violence in the Northern Grampians, not today and not ever.”
The walk was previously associated with the White Ribbon Foundation which went into receivership earlier this year.
To mark the change in affiliation, participants in the 2019 march are asked to wear something orange as a sign of solidarity with The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
The 2019 Stawell Walk against Violence will start at the corner of Patrick and Main Streets at 4pm and will finish with a free community barbecue at the Stawell Neighbourhood House.