Ararat Rural City again says no to family violence

Posted Wednesday 25 October, 09:40am

Ararat Rural City Council’s White Ribbon committee is again raising awareness and fundraising for family violence with a march and commemoration event on Wednesday, November 22.

Ararat Rural City Council Mayor, Cr Paul Hooper said this year’s event was especially important given a recent media report that revealed Ararat Rural City now has one of the highest family violence rates in western Victoria – a 12 per cent rise in the 12 months ending in July.

Ararat Rural City Council was one of the first Victorian councils to include family violence leave in its Enterprise Bargaining Agreement, and provides support and assistance to any staff member experiencing family violence.

Cr Hooper said Ararat Rural City Council’s White Ribbon committee was passionate about raising awareness around family violence, with statistics showing that on average at least one woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner in Australia. One in three Australian women has also experienced physical violence since the age of 15.

“Violence against women should never be a private issue,” Cr Hooper said.

“We are holding this event to help break the silence around violence, to raise awareness of the issue and raise funds to support work to bring violence against women to an end.

“We want people to know that violence against women is unacceptable, it is never the victim’s fault, help is always available and if you see something you should definitely say something.

“People need to know they can make a difference. Bringing an end to men’s violence against women will take a whole-of-community approach.”

Cr Hooper said murder is at ‘the pointy end’ and that violence against women takes many forms – financial, verbal, emotional, psychological, physical and sexual, as well as workplace harassment.

He said everyone is welcome to participate in the walk, which will start from J-Ward in Girdlestone Street, Ararat at 5.30pm (meet at 5.15pm) and proceed down Vincent Street turning right into Alexandra Gardens and finishing at the Alexandra Oval Community Centre.

Guest speakers, a plaque presentation and a free barbecue will take place with the event finishing about 6.30pm.

Those who wish to support the critical work of White Ribbon Australia in the prevention of men’s violence against women can also make a tax deductible donation at www.whiteribbon.org.au/donate.

If you are experiencing violence or suspect someone else is, please contact 1800 RESPECT for advice and support. In an emergency, call the police on 000.

For event enquiries, please contact Ararat Rural City Council White Ribbon committee member Danielle Jenkins on 5355 0200.