Members of the Cootamundra community sent a strong message last week saying NO to domestic violence, through a march along Parker street, followed by a gathering in Jubilee Park.
Statistics show that more than one woman a week dies as a result of domestic violence in Australia. They also show that incidents of domestic violence are higher in rural and regional areas than in cities, and that last year there were over 140,000 police call-outs to incidents of domestic violence in NSW alone.
March organiser Jayne Halls from Mission Australia said that although the numbers of attendees were down on last year, approximately 70 people attended Jubilee Park.
“It was fantastic that Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke was able to join us for the March,” Ms Halls said.
“Local Police have told me that the figures for domestic violence call-outs locally remain steady, Australia wide, it is an issue we can no longer afford to ignore.”
Statistics show that domestic violence is now the leading cause of homelessness in women.
“On average, studies have shown it takes women eight attempts to leave a violent situation for good.” Ms Halls said.
“Unfortunately, children seeing domestic violence within the family home can become desensitized to it, it becomes ‘normality’, which can perpetuate the cycle.”
Ms Halls said she believes that stopping the cycle of domestic violence could be helped by educating young people while they are still at school.
“One out of every three young people don’t believe that a girlfriend or boyfriend behaving in a controlling manner is abuse.” Ms Halls said.
“We have recently started running ‘Love Bite’ programs in the local High Schools to teach students what a healthy relationship looks like.”
Ms Halls said the White Ribbon Day march will be back next year. If you would like to know more, please contact Mission Australia on 6942 8002.