Hundreds say ‘Enough Is Enough’ at Coffs rally

Hundreds marched to show their anger and their support for victims.

HUNDREDS of Coffs Coast locals braved the rain on Sunday April 28 to rally against the escalation of male violence in our communities.

The rally was one of six regional Australia rallies in conjunction with events in the capital cities.

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“Every day our eight case workers deal with ten to fifteen incidents,” Prue Young from Warrina Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Services told the crowd.

“Your presence here today shows we are not alone.”

Ms Young said women and children should be able to live their lives without fear.

She reflected on why laws in NSW could be changed when a few young men were killed in Sydney but nothing appears to be happening when a woman is killed every four and a half days across the country.

Lockie Skinner, who hosts One Mob Breakfast, said most violence is perpetrated by men, including against men and boys.

He spoke about how men need to do more to make the community safer for all.

Participants walked around to the jetty where flowers were dropped into the water to commemorate women who have been killed this year.

Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan, the Shadow Assistant Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence, was in attendance at the rally.

“I know that our hearts collectively break each and every time these deaths are in the headlines, but we also know that there are women around the country living with the fear and threat of violence each and every day.”

Like Mr Skinner, he acknowledges that violence is a male problem.

“We need consistently delivered programs dedicated to positive men’s behavioural change, not only for those men who have been flagged as offenders or potential offenders, but at a grassroots level as well.

“We need programs in sporting clubs, workplaces and importantly in our schools and educational institutions.

“We need to attack this issue at every possible angle and every possible stage of the cycle from youth to adulthood.”

Mr Conaghan thanked Warrina Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Services for organising the moving event and all participants who joined.

Denise Aitken, who attended the rally as a member of Business Professional women (BPW) Coffs Harbour, voiced the shared concern of participants.

“I attended because of the growing concern we all have regarding the lack of action around domestic violence and the women who have died this year,” Ms Aitken said.

“There is a collective feeling that not enough has been done.

“I thought the turnout was incredible.

“I didn’t know what to expect but to see so many people was so empowering.”

Ms Aitken said it was very emotional listening to the statistics and hearing the names of the women who have been killed this year.

“It was so inspiring to see so many local people there.

“My friends who were there thought the same and we hope that, finally, something will be done.”

By Andrew VIVIAN

Participants heard statistics and the names of women killed so far this year by male violence.

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