Saying no to family violence

Walking away from violence heals the hurt. Pictures: MIKAYLA VAN LOON.

Hundreds of people gathered and walked on Monday 4 December in show of support against family violence.

Representatives from organisations and community members joined Boorndawan Willam Aboriginal Healing Centre (BWHC) in their event in an aim to raise awareness around gendered violence.

“It’s for 16 Days of Activism against gendered violence towards women. Each year it’s the same theme but it comes with a new statement. So this statement is we ’say no to violence against women and girls’,“ Steve from Mission Australia said.

Donning orange and carrying banners the crowd yelled back, ’say no to family violence’ and clapped when powerful, personal statements on the BWHC banner like ’I will not be like the violent example I grew up with’ were read aloud.

“During our men’s group, we had a bit of a yarn about what it means to continue to keep the place safe in our home, in our own life. Being mindful of the environment we’re creating, in our words, in our deeds, and even in our thoughts that can plague us,“ Steve said.

The event was a partnership between Ngwala Willumbong Aboriginal Corporation, Victorian Aboriginal Childcare Agency (VACCA), Mullum Mullum Indigenous Gathering Place, Mission Australia, Women’s Health East and EACH’s Aboriginal health team, with greater support from Victoria Police, Access Health and Community and Yarra Ranges Council.