Chang­ing Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence cul­ture

Dubbo Photo News - - Emergency report - By JOHN RYAN

DO­MES­TIC vi­o­lence is a silent scourge in com­mu­ni­ties, but now a lo­cal group is show­ing peo­ple how they can help ad­dress the is­sue and change that cul­ture which causes so much angst to so many families and in­di­vid­u­als.

Com­mu­nity mem­bers are in­vited to join with Dubbo Vi­o­lence Pre­ven­tion Col­lec­tive (DVPC) to take part in the “You CAN ask that!” ini­tia­tive, to take a stand to help end vi­o­lence against women.

Ac­cord­ing to DVPC chair An­gela Coker, the event will pro­vide an in­ter­ac­tive pre­sen­ta­tion with four lo­cal panel mem­bers who she says will coura­geously share their per­sonal do­mes­tic and fam­ily vi­o­lence ex­pe­ri­ences, and pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to ask ques­tions to the panel mem­bers.

“The Dubbo Vi­o­lence Pre­ven­tion Col­lec­tive (DVPC) is a lo­cal do­mes­tic vi­o­lence com­mit­tee that works to­wards the pre­ven­tion of do­mes­tic and sex­ual vi­o­lence against women and chil­dren,” Ms Coker said.

“The DVPC is made up of mem­bers from govern­ment and non-govern­ment agen­cies, and the lo­cal com­mu­nity who all share a com­mon goal to help in­crease aware­ness and to change the at­ti­tudes and be­hav­iours that lead to vi­o­lence against women.

“Do­mes­tic and fam­ily vi­o­lence is a crime that does not dis­crim­i­nate – it af­fects peo­ple from all walks of life. It’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that do­mes­tic vi­o­lence not only means phys­i­cal as­saults – psy­cho­log­i­cal, men­tal and emo­tional abuse that in­tim­i­dates or co­erces a per­son is also a form of vi­o­lence,” she said.

Although the do­mes­tic vi­o­lence ad­vo­cacy or­gan­i­sa­tion White Rib­bon Aus­tralia re­gret­tably went into liq­ui­da­tion in Oc­to­ber of this year, Ms Coker said it re­mains vi­tal to con­tinue along­side the In­ter­na­tional White Rib­bon cam­paign to en­gage men and boys to work to­wards the elim­i­na­tion of vi­o­lence against women.

Jen­nie Phillips runs me­dia li­ai­son for the col­lec­tive and said the DVPC is hold­ing two events to raise aware­ness and take a stand against do­mes­tic and fam­ily vi­o­lence.

“The Ro­tunda event is to pro­vide do­mes­tic and fam­ily vi­o­lence re­lated in­for­ma­tion with the as­sis­tance of ser­vice providers who of­fer sup­port for those most vul­ner­a­ble and af­fected peo­ple in our com­mu­nity,” Ms Phillips said.

“We have in­vited Year 10 and 11 school stu­dents and en­cour­age peo­ple of the com­mu­nity to at­tend the ‘You CAN Ask That!’ event – to­gether we can break the si­lence and bring a voice to do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

“Do­mes­tic vi­o­lence is a se­ri­ous prob­lem which im­pacts many families. We’re work­ing on pre­ven­tion of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and want to work as a com­mu­nity to end it, in­clud­ing aware­ness. As a com­mu­nity we need to breed the cul­ture that do­mes­tic vi­o­lence is not ac­cept­able – these events are part of that,” she said.

White Rib­bon is a global cam­paign to end vi­o­lence against women which orig­i­nated in Canada in 1991, and aims to recog­nise the pos­i­tive role men play in pre­vent­ing vi­o­lence against women.

Novem­ber 25 is also the United Na­tions Day for the Elim­i­na­tion of Vi­o­lence Against Women. z The first event will be staged at the Church Street Ro­tunda on Thurs­day, Novem­ber 21, from 10am-2pm with a free bar­be­cue pro­vided. The ‘You CAN ask that!’ event will be held at Dubbo Col­lege Se­nior Cam­pus Hall on Fri­day, Novem­ber 22, 10am-12.30pm. To take part, sim­ply RSVP via, look for You CAN ask that! Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence fo­rum.

Jen­nie Phillips and An­gela Coker from the Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Col­lec­tive. PHOTO: DUBBO PHOTO NEWS

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