Domestic violence has a significant impact on the community – it’s not just a private matter. For this reason the Armidale Domestic Violence Committee, a group of local service providers, are getting together to promote the 16 Days of Activism to Stop Violence against Women and Children.
Events will begin on Friday 14 November, with a Reclaim the Night march and night market in the Armidale Mall. This community event will be in keeping with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and White Ribbon Day beginning on the 25 November and ending on 10 December 2014 – Human Rights Day.
Ms Pari Jay, Senior Social Worker at Armidale Community Health states that the “16 days of Activism against Gender Violence” campaign provides an opportunity for the community to be alerted to the impact of Domestic abuse in families and a chance to learn more about it”.
There is substantial evidence from research indicating that:
- children who live in an environment of domestic violence may experience long-term emotional and psychological harm
- violence is not confined to any specific groups or certain sections in the community
- domestic violence is specifically about ‘power, possession and control’ and not just about anger and conflict
- violence can be both overt and covert: taking emotional, financial and social forms as well as the obvious ones of physical, sexual or verbal abuses, where one person exerts control by power-over another
- violence is never a legitimate way of resolving relationship conflicts, nor can people use alcohol and other drugs, poverty and loss of job as an excuse for violence
- all forms of domestic violence have serious adverse effects on children and young people.
Raising awareness in our community with the “16 days of Activism” campaign assists to get this message across. The “Reclaim the Night” rally, march and night markets will be held in Armidale Mall on Friday evening, 14 November 2014 from 6.30pm. Ms Jay said that it is imperative that ‘zero tolerance’ to violence should be a whole of community response. The importance of healthy wholesome respectful relationships is our mission for our community.
The Armidale Anti-Violence Committee has planned a number of activities to mark the 16 Days of Activism. These will include:
- The “Stop Domestic Violence” flag will be raised on the Armidale Mall flag poles from the 5th November 2014 to the 5th December 2014.
- The “Reclaim the Night March” and rally and night market stall will be held on the Friday evening 14th November 2014.
“Many men and women recognise that domestic violence is unacceptable and the community are willing to take a strong stand on this issue.” Ms Jay said.
For more information contact the Women’s Shelter Armidale on 1800 005352, and the North and North West Community Legal Service 67728100.