One Australian woman is killed by a current or former partner every week. Yesterday, thousands gathered in support of lowering this statistic.
“It’s [White Ribbon] in it’s 11th year and it’s been growing from strength to strength,” a spokesperson for White Ribbon Australia told The Newsroom.
Events were held throughout Australia, from the Grounds of Alexandria in Sydney, to Federation Square in Melbourne.
“You saw it every where you looked. All day on television everyone was wearing white ribbons, the big breakfast with the prime minister was broadcast nationally, then of course you had social media which was the big win for White Ribbon this year,” White Ribbon ambassador Matt de Groot told The Newsroom.
More than 27,000 domestic violence assaults were reported to police last year in NSW alone and one in three women have experienced some form of violence since the age of 15.
Mr de Groot said the statistics were “not acceptable”.
“I’m involved in White Ribbon purely because, as ironic as it sounds, I’m embarrassed that White Ribbon needs to exist… this as an issue is so appalling,” he said.
“Everyone puts their hand on their heart and says ‘Well I don’t do it and my mates certainly don’t do it.’ Clearly someone is doing it and clearly someone close to you is doing it and it’s getting the word out that its not okay,” Mr de Groot told The Newsroom.
He said White Ribbon is helping to empower women to speak out and talk about the issue.
“Women should feel empowered to say that this is happening and men should feel embarrassed about this as well,” he said.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said: “Government has a role to play; that’s why this government is investing some $100 million in our Second Action Plan to combat violence against women.”
If you or anyone you know is experiencing violence, call 1800 RESPECT for advice and support. In an emergency, call 000 – Bianca Mureddu
Top photo from Amy Dianna’s Flickr photostream.