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Monday, March 4, 2024

1,200+ turn out to Georges River walk against violence

More than 1,200 community members marched from Netstrata Jubilee Stadium to Kogarah today as part of the annual NO Domestic Violence Walk for 2023.

Georges River Councillors and staff, local school students, St George Police Local Area Command, and representatives from community groups walked side by side in a unified stance against domestic violence in Georges River.

Local high school students from St George Girls High School, James Cook Boys Technology High School, Kogarah High School, Georges River College Oatley Senior Campus, Beverly Hills Girls High School, and Woniora Road School made pledges against domestic violence and received plaques from Georges River Mayor, Sam Elmir, to commemorate their involvement.

“As the community rallied together today, the sound of their steps resounded a clear message – that domestic violence has no place in our society,” said Mayor Elmir.

“Through collaborative efforts like this walk and ongoing educational campaigns, the path towards a violence-free community can be paved, one step at a time.”

Mayor Elmir called on every person in Georges River to do their part to create a community where every individual feels safe and respected.

The NO Domestic Violence Walk is a precursor to the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25 and the first step in the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, which will see Georges River Council partner with The St George Domestic Violence Committee to deliver messages about how to identify domestic violence and find support.

Statistics from the Census Personal Safety Survey 2021 underscore the urgency of addressing domestic violence:

  • 1 woman every week and 1 man every month are killed by a current or former partner in Australia;
  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 14 men have been subjected to physical violence by a current or former partner;
  • 27% of women have suffered violence or emotional or economic abuse by a cohabiting partner.

So far in 2023, more than 50 women have died as a result of domestic violence nationwide. Three women in the Georges River area have died since December last year.

“Our journey doesn’t end today with this walk. These chilling statistics demonstrate the long road ahead and the absolute importance of ongoing community-led initiatives,” Mayor Elmir said.

“The reality is that this is not some faraway issue, it’s a reality that transpires behind closed doors in every single neighbourhood – and maybe right next door.

“Taking a stand against domestic violence is not an option; it’s a moral imperativeIt’s crucial that the victims of domestic violence know that they’re not alone; that there is hope, help, and a way out.

“This call is loud and clear. We must challenge and change the narratives that perpetuate this violence, the toxic masculinity, the stigmatisation of victims and survivors, and the deafening silence that emboldens the perpetrators.”

Council and St George Domestic Violence Committee’s 16 Days of Activism campaign will spotlight local organisations, available hotlines, educational webinars, and resources about domestic violence, providing a comprehensive guide for community members seeking help or wanting to learn more about combating domestic violence.

“From hotlines and services from local organisations, to understanding coercive control, this campaign will aim to equip the community with vital information and resources to help our community curb domestic violence,” Mayor Elmir said.

For more details of upcoming initiatives as part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, visit Council’s What’s On page.

If you need support, visit Council’s Domestic and Family Violence webpage.

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