Community rejects domestic violence
Pilbara community service providers and community members turned out in solidarity against the domestic and family violence at White Ribbon Day last Friday.
White Ribbon Day, also known as International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, is a recognised day for all people to reflect on the problem of domestic and family violence and how to work together to prevent and respond to it.
In Karratha, about 50 people gathered for a morning tea at the Salvation Army Karratha Hall.
Representatives from Mission Australia, Karratha police and the Department for Child Protection and Family Support spoke about their agencies’ work, and a guest speaker who had experienced domestic violence gave witness to the harm it caused and the need for social attitudes to change.
Nineteen white roses and 19 candles were displayed at the front of the room in recognition of the 19 women who had lost their lives from domestic violence in the past year.
Mission Australia family and domestic violence co-ordinated response program worker Laura Gregory said there was a greater need than ever for awareness of White Ribbon Day with the number of domestic violence incidents being reported to her Pilbara office “extremely high” and double on last year’s result.
“While it’s not known in the wider community that so much violence is occurring, the community organisations are aware of it,” she said.
In Tom Price, the Nintirri Centre in partnership with local agencies held a community march from the Village Green to Bird Park, ending in speeches and a White Ribbon pledge.
Nintirri chief executive James Jarvis said with 40-50 attendees from a cross-section of the community, about half male, the event sent a “powerful message” that “violence against women and girls is unacceptable”.
People fleeing violence can call Karratha Women’s Refuge on 9185 2807 or Pilbara Community Legal Service on 9185 5899.