By Robyn Sedger
Violence towards women, whether this violence occurs in the home, workplace or in public spaces, remains a major issue in Australia today. Domestic, family and sexual violence is widespread across all cultures, ages and socio-economic groups in Australia and these forms of violence are experienced mostly by women.
Shoalhaven City Council, in partnership with the Shoalhaven Women’s Health Centre and the Shoalhaven International Women’s Day committee, are inviting the community to take part in a peaceful and safe march and rally on 26 November 2021 to advocate for an end to violence against women. The march will begin at Nowra showground on Friday 26th, and participants are invited to meet at 5.30 pm for a 6 pm start, before weaving through the Nowra CBD to Jellybean Park where a rally will be held.
The march will present a united front against violence of all kinds and marchers will walk in peace and solidarity with the belief that everyone has the right to feel and to be safe. This will be a silent march, in recognition and to advocate for those without a voice and to remember those whose voice has been silenced.
Some groups of women are more at risk of experiencing domestic, family or sexual violence than others. However, all forms of violence occur in all Australian communities and across all socio-economic groups. The underlying causes are complex but there is general agreement that gender inequality is a key determinant of violence against women.
In Australia, one in three women have experienced physical violence since the age of 15, one in five women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15, and almost one in ten women have experienced violence by a stranger. The Australia Institute of Health and Welfare also reports that 87 per cent of women have experienced at least one instance of verbal or physical street harassment in their lifetime.
The Reclaim the Night movement involves marches advocating for women to be able to move through public spaces safely and to stop violence against women in the home, educational places, workplace and public spaces. Everyone is welcome to join in the march or rally on Friday 26 November. This will be an inclusive event and COVID-19 safe measures have been put in place to keep the community safe.
This event will occur as part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence. This is a global initiative designed to highlight and advocate to address issues related to gender inequalities, gender-based violence and take action to prevent violence before it starts.
Those attending the rally at Jellybean Park will be entertained by a singer and hear from various speakers on the issue of preventing violence against women.
If you need support 24/7 please contact NSW Rape Crisis phone line 1800 424 017 NSW Domestic Violence Helpline 1800 656 463 Homelessness Link2Home 1800 152 152 Lifeline 13 11 14 For confidential information, counselling and support on sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)
Feature image: Protest sign at Reclaim the Streets vigil in London in March 2021 - She Was Just Walking Home. Photo credit: Illyas Tayfun Salci/Shutterstock.com