Women march against do­mes­tic vi­o­lence

Whitsunday Times - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

WHIT­SUN­DAY com­mu­nity mem­bers spoke out against sex­ual vi­o­lence by tak­ing part in the Re­claim the Night rally in Air­lie Beach on Fri­day night.

More than 70 peo­ple, in­clud­ing men and young chil­dren gath­ered at the Air­lie Beach fore­shore mar­ket area at dusk to form a pa­rade which marched to the top of the la­goon and back.

Their strong voices could be heard chant­ing through­out the street in an at­tempt to raise aware­ness about sex­ual and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in the Whit­sun­day re­gion, with many more peo­ple join­ing the march along the way.

Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil­lor Jan Clif­ford spoke out about her own ex­pe­ri­ence of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence at the march last year and was hon­oured to take part in the pa­rade once again.

“As a vic­tim of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence for a num­ber of years it means a lot to me per­son­ally to be here,” she said.

“We all have a right to be safe, no mat­ter who you are or where you are from, we should all be able to feel safe in our home and on the street.”

A ma­jor high­light of the evening was the pow­er­ful ac­count read out by a sur­vivor of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence which brought tears to the eyes of many au­di­ence mem­bers as her words res­onated with some of their own ex­pe­ri­ences.

The march, or­gan­ised through the Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence In­te­grated Re­sponse Net­work (DVIRN), which in­cludes the Whit­sun­day Cri­sis and Coun­selling Ser­vice (WCCS) and Whit­sun­day Neigh­bour­hood Cen­tre (WNC), was re­launched last year as an an­nual event.

Leah An­der­son from WCCS said the event was a great suc­cess and thanked mem­bers of the Whit­sun­day Neigh­bour­hood Cen­tre for their out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tion.

This event was the fi­nal lo­cal event of Sex­ual Vi­o­lence Aware­ness month.

STAND­ING TO­GETHER: An­gela Spicer, Lauren Haack, PJ Hal­ter, Rhonda Rumpf, Leah An­der­son from Whit­sun­day Cri­sis and Coun­selling, Zoe Dea­con, Ayla Ovari, Mar­lene Reif­fel, Con­nie Ri­ley, Coun­sel­lor Jan Clif­ford, Jayde Pi­tau, Mar­jory Noble, (front) Skye Ovari, Vanya Ngakuru, Lela Pi­tau, Hai­ley Poid and Ta­mara Noble from the Whit­sun­day Neigh­bour­hood Cen­tre marched through Air­lie Beach on Fri­day night to raise aware­ness about sex­ual and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

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