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Published Friday 20 November 2020
Tag:Media Release

Change the story: Ways to end gendered-based violence

Mitchell Shire Council is once again standing united alongside its community for the 16 Days of Activism against violence in all forms regardless of age, gender or ethnicity.

The 2020 campaign, led by Respect Victoria, is Respect Is… and is a positive message that aims to support Victorian communities to engage in conversations about ‘respect’ – what respect means to us, what respect looks like and how to put respect into practice, especially in the context of gender equality.

The 16 Days of Activism begins on November 25, the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women and culminates on 10 December, Human Rights Day. Victoria’s 16 days of activism coincides with the United Nation’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

The campaign provides an opportunity for Council to partner with agencies across the Shire to collectively make an impact and take a stance. As a municipality with significantly high family violence rates, Council is set to showcase, as a collective, that it is not tolerated or accepted within our community.

Mitchell Shire is ranked at number 10 out of 79 Victorian Councils for family violence incidents. This year, there has tragically been a further increase in family violence incidents in Mitchell Shire.

Council, community and service provider partners are working to reduce the alarming rates of family violence throughout the region and will continue to strongly advocate for improved mental health and family support services to all levels of government.

Council will continue to advocate to both the State and Federal government for increased mental health and family violence support services for the Shire. In recent years, Council led a Federal Election campaign which strongly highlighted the need for more specialist services in order to prevent vulnerable residents from the surrounding area from travelling up to two hours for help.

This year, Council, in partnership with Murrindindi Shire will host an online COVID-safe panel discussion and Q&A for the community.

The Change the Story: Five things you can do to prevent violence against women panel will be facilitated through Women’s Health Goulburn North East will facilitate the session. To register, visit here

In June 2020, an Orange Door access point in Wallan was announced to increase family violence services in the Shire.

Victorian Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams announced the access point will help people speak directly to workers from specialist family violence, child and family, Aboriginal and men’s services.

The Orange Door is a free service for adults, children and young people who are experiencing or have experienced family violence and families who need extra support with the care of children.

As part of last year’s 16 Days of Activism campaign, Council ran the first-ever Mitchell Shire Community Walk to End Violence.

If you or someone you know needs help or support, the following services are available to help:

Safe Steps (24/7 Family Violence Response Line): 1800 015 188

1800 RESPECT (24/7 sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service): 1800 737 732

Nexus Primary Health: 1300 773 352

Men’s Referral Service (24/7 professional support and information service for Australian men): 1300 466 491

Seniors Rights Victoria – 1300 368 821

Available from 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday. For more information on Seniors Rights Victoria, visit their website.

Quotes attributable to Mitchell Shire Council Mayor Councillor Rhonda Sanderson

“We will once again stand with our community by taking part in the 16 Days of Activism campaign to highlight our stance as an organisation against violence. Respect Is… a strong community that supports each other,” she said.

“Respect comes in many different forms. Respect is equality. Respect is equal pay for equal work. Respect is to not laugh at jokes that put women down. Respect is letting people be themselves and treating others the way you wish to be treated.

“The campaign provides an opportunity for us to partner with agencies across the Shire to collectively make an impact and stand united, and as a Shire with significantly high family violence rates, we want to send a clear message – violence will never be tolerated or accepted in this community.

“One of the key aspects of this campaign is to build community awareness about forms of violence which impact people every single day.”

“The 16 Days of Activism is extremely important in highlighting this important topic. We all have to work together to acknowledge the problem and find practical and worthwhile solutions.”

This page was last updated on 25 November 2020.