March against violence

MEN, women and children are expected to march on Liebig Street in a united stand against violence.

Warrnambool woman, Roxanne Thomson, has organised Friday’s Reclaim the Night walk and said she had been overwhelmed with the response from the community.

The walk will coincide with White Ribbon Day which encourages men to swear an oath never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women.

The walk was for women, men and children and the message was ‘my community, my safety’. Ms Thomson was initially spurred on to do something after the rape and murder of Brunswick woman Jill Meagher.

Yesterday she told The Standard that people had been sharing their personal stories and she had received fantastic support from businesses.

She said she wanted the event to be dedicated to victims of violence. 

“Hopefully anyone who is in a relationship and has experienced violence, or anyone who has seen violence will get help,” she said. 

“It needs to be something we talk about.

“That’s why I wanted this to be inclusive. Violence is a community issue.

“The issue of violence needs to be clearly seen, not pushed under the carpet.

“I hope it resonates in people’s minds and remember this event.”

Ms Thomson said she hoped the walk would become an annual event. She said there has also been support from Warrnambool City Council and the Warrnambool Regional Social Justice Group.

“It was only a seed which sprouted in my mind, but now it has exploded into a solid tree,” she said.

“At first I thought I would get about 10 people but now I think there will be a really good turn out. I’m thinking between 50 and 100 people.

“Volunteers from the social justice group will wear safety vests and direct people across the road.” 

Reclaim the Night will start at 8pm on the Civic Green and then head up Liebig Street.

*Anyone experiencing family violence can contact police on triple-0, Women’s Domestic Violence Crisis Service of Victoria 1800 015 188 or 9373 0123, Sexual Assault Crisis Line 1800 806 292 and Men’s Referral Service 1800 065 973.

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