VAN­DALS WRECK DIS­PLAY

The Western Star - - FRONT PAGE - Ellen Ransley [email protected]­ern­starnews.com

THE irony of an an­tiv­i­o­lence group be­ing the tar­get of van­dals is not lost on Zonta Club of Roma mem­bers.

For the sec­ond time in two years they have picked up the pieces af­ter an act of van­dal­ism on Fri­day night.

Signs, in­clud­ing a ban­ner and coloured wooden fig­urines, were knocked to the ground and some were de­stroyed, in what is be­lieved to be a drunken act late Fri­day night or early Satur­day morn­ing.

As part of their 16 days of ac­tion protest­ing vi­o­lence against women, Zonta mem­bers erected a ban­ner and groups of coloured fe­male fig­urines on the grassy cor­ner of Quintin and McDowall Sts.

Mem­ber Christina Wal­dron said the club was tak­ing it se­ri­ously and po­lice had al­ready been in­volved.

“We are very dis­ap­pointed,” she said.

“This proves our point – that vi­o­lence is mind­less and that we as a com­mu­nity re­ally need to be do­ing more.

“These were in­no­cent wooden fig­ures, they weren’t hurt­ing any­one and some­one has let them­selves get ag­gres­sive with them.”

Ms Wal­dron said she was un­sure of the mo­tive.

“It could be a dis­like against our club, or against women or the prin­ci­ple in gen­eral of us fight­ing back against this vi­o­lence,” she said. “But it just shows that vi­o­lence is brain­less and it needs to be stopped.”

The fig­urines, in groups of four, had one woman in or­ange and the other three in white to show­case the alarm­ing statis­tic of the rate of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence vic­tims.

“It’s prob­a­bly more like one in three now but we still just want to high­light to the com­mu­nity the shock­ing statis­tic that this is,” Ms Wal­dron said.

Dur­ing the at­tack, arms were pulled off some fig­urines and al­most all were knocked to the ground.

“We will put them back up our­selves,” Ms Wal­dron said. “We want to show that we will not stand by and let this kind of brain­less vi­o­lence con­tinue.”

The club will press charges against those in­volved and will seek fi­nan­cial and “in kind” com­pen­sa­tion.

“The po­lice have come and they are tak­ing it se­ri­ously,” Ms Wal­dron said.

Roma po­lice said they had iden­ti­fied sus­pects but in­ves­ti­ga­tions were con­tin­u­ing.

The club is reel­ing from the emo­tional cost of this act but mem­bers are not los­ing hope in their cause.

“We have all in­vested our­selves in this cause and we’ve done so for a rea­son,” Ms Wal­dron said.

“We won’t let this get to us.”

Next Satur­day mem­bers will set up a stall in West­lands Plaza out­side Wool­worths, seek­ing a gold coin do­na­tion from gen­er­ous shop­pers who can help the club pre­pare care pack­ages for women who have to flee vi­o­lence.

If you have any in­for­ma­tion that may as­sist the po­lice in their in­ves­ti­ga­tions, please phone Roma Po­lice Sta­tion on 4622 9333.

PHOTO: ELLEN RANSLEY

NO MORE: Zonta mem­bers Sue Moll­gaard, Christina Wal­dron, Rachel Forn­dron and Me­gan and Al­bert Devlin aren’t giv­ing up their cause af­ter the group’s signs and fig­urines were van­dalised.

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