Stand up to vi­o­lence

Com­mu­nity urged to sup­port Sorop­ti­mist’s state-to-state walk

The Cobram Courier - - FRONT PAGE - By Pa­trick Tansey

Tired of see­ing women be­come vic­tims of heinous vi­o­lence, Sorop­ti­mist Co­bram-Ba­rooga is tak­ing a stand, or­gan­is­ing a stateto-state walk.

The walk on De­cem­ber 2 starts at Thomp­sons Beach at 7 am, fin­ish­ing at Ba­rooga Com­mu­nity Cen­tre with a bar­be­cue break­fast. ‘Why do it?’ you might won­der. The mes­sage from the group is sim­ple.

‘‘How many women have to die, be phys­i­cally or emo­tion­ally abused be­fore the com­mu­nity shows its dis­gust for vi­o­lence against women?’’ Sorop­ti­mist pub­lic­ity of­fi­cer Jan Cullen said.

Statistics from White Rib­bon show do­mes­tic and fam­ily vi­o­lence is the lead­ing cause of home­less­ness for women and chil­dren; on av­er­age one woman a week is mur­dered by her cur­rent or for­mer part­ner; al­most 40 per cent of women con­tin­ued to ex­pe­ri­ence vi­o­lence from their part­ner while tem­po­rar­ily sep­a­rated; and one in three peo­ple do not think con­trol­ling some­one is a form of vi­o­lence.

‘‘The statistics are there and they are only the ones that have been re­ported. The num­bers not re­ported must be hor­ren­dous,’’ Ms Cullen said.

She be­lieved one of the big­gest prob­lems fac­ing peo­ple stuck in dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions was that it was dif­fi­cult to break the cy­cle of vi­o­lence, which is what the walk is pro­mot­ing.

‘‘I think some peo­ple watch what they’ve grown up with so they con­tinue to do the same thing,’’ Ms Cullen said.

‘‘The walk is re­ally hop­ing to bring vi­o­lence against women to the at­ten­tion of peo­ple. Vi­o­lence against women is still there so it seems we still have a long way to go be­fore we make a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence to the lives of women in those predica­ments.’’

Ms Cullen said as well as aware­ness events like the walk, more could be done in the class­room to help stamp out vi­o­lence.

‘‘I think we need bet­ter ed­u­ca­tion; I don’t know whether schools could han­dle it, but some­where in so­ci­ety we need to find a way of ed­u­cat­ing peo­ple to solve their prob­lems with­out be­ing vi­o­lent,’’ she said.

Ms Cullen en­cour­aged com­mu­nity mem­bers who wanted to say no to vi­o­lence against women to take part in the pleas­ant walk.

‘‘Now is your op­por­tu­nity to do some­thing that will make a dif­fer­ence in so­ci­ety by pro­vid­ing funds to White Rib­bon and Mar­ian Com­mu­nity,’’ she said.

‘‘We’ve had Mar­ian Com­mu­nity come and do talks for us be­fore and they do a won­der­ful job in Shep­par­ton.

‘‘They go out at all hours of the night and take women to refuges and look af­ter chil­dren that have been hurt or have seen hor­rific things, they do a won­der­ful job.’’

Any­one in­ter­ested in the walk can book on the day or by log­ging onto Try­book­ing and en­ter­ing Co­bram-Ba­rooga state-to-state walk. It is $10 en­try, with fees split be­tween Mar­ian Com­mu­nity and White Rib­bon.

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