North West Telegraph - - Front Page - Pic­ture: Robert Dougherty

Hun­dreds of peo­ple marched to raise aware­ness and preven­tion of fam­ily vi­o­lence for this year’s White Rib­bon Day in South Hed­land.

The Hed­land com­mu­nity marched against fam­ily vi­o­lence as the coun­try marked White Rib­bon Day on Fri­day.

A train of par­tic­i­pants, co-or­di­nated by the Hed­land Fam­ily Vi­o­lence Ac­tion Group, walked the streets of South Hed­land cam­paign­ing for aware­ness and preven­tion of fam­ily vi­o­lence.

Res­i­dent Ash­lee Ward, who gave an im­pas­sioned speech at the event, said her fam­ily had suf­fered from fam­ily vi­o­lence and the march pro­vided in­spi­ra­tional sup­port.

“It re­ally hits home for me, be­cause I’ve been through it first-hand, seen it with my par­ents . . . this march is sav­ing some­one’s life by get­ting aware­ness in the com­mu­nity,” she said.

“It means a lot that peo­ple are re­ally start­ing to get be­hind it and care about this sort of thing. Def­i­nitely speak up . . . it’s bet­ter to get it out and tell some­one what you are go­ing through, it’s bet­ter to speak up than end­ing up pos­si­bly dead.

“If you’ve got chil­dren, you don’t want to ex­pose that to them their en­tire life, and just get out if you can.

“It’s eas­ier said than done but if your kids wit­ness that they may grow up think­ing that’s OK and in­flict that on their part­ner or chil­dren.”

St John Am­bu­lance Hed­land sub­cen­tre sta­tion man­ager Phil Stanaitis said his staff were of­ten front­line first re­spon­ders, and they sup­ported ini­tia­tives to re­duce the im­pact of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence on in­di­vid­u­als, fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties.

Town of Port Hed­land Mayor Camilo Blanco said this year Hed­land po­lice had at­tended 1210 in­ci­dents of fam­ily vi­o­lence, at 581 of which chil­dren were present.

“This is com­pletely un­ac­cept­able . . . we can’t rest un­til we erad­i­cate this prob­lem,” he said.

Hed­land Fam­ily Vi­o­lence Ac­tion Group mem­bers.

Po­lice of­fi­cers pre­pare to march against do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

Greg Lil­ley­man, Jes­sica Rankin and Alan Ped­die lead the march.

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