A WARRNAMBOOL woman is taking a stand and calling on the community to come together to stop violence.
Roxanne Thomson, 26, is organising a Reclaim The Night walk because she said anyone could become a victim of violence.
She said the walk was for women, men and children and the message was ‘my community, my safety’.
Ms Thomson said the recent rape and murder of Brunswick woman Jill Meagher had stirred something in her and she wanted to do something about it.
“It did really affect me, you think that could happen anywhere, it could happen in Warrnambool,” she said.
“Initially I thought I wanted to do this for women but this is for the whole community.
“It’s not only about Jill Meagher, it’s for all victims.”
Ms Thomson said she originally thought it would be a walk for women alone.
She instead believed it was an issue for the whole community.
“This is inclusive, men must be a part of the solution and men can be victims of violence as well.
“It’s about three things — safety, belonging and connectedness.
“I love this town and I am connected to it. I think it’s a safe town and this is about keeping it that way.”
Ms Thomson said the message of the event was to walk together towards a safe community.
“We want everyone in Warrnambool to say no to violence, regardless of their sex, sexuality, cultural background or age,” she said.
“No one should be a victim of violence.
“This is my home, this is my place and we want to continue to feel safe.
“I really want this to happen. To re-affirm that Warrnambool is a safe and connected community for everyone.”
Ms Thomson has been in discussions with Warrnambool City Council about closing off part of Liebig Street for the walk.
She has also met with representatives from the police, the fire brigade and paramedics who are also supportive of the walk.
She said she hoped the walk would coincide with White Ribbon — a worldwide campaign to end violence against women.
Acting Senior Sergeant Tania Barbary, of Warrnambool police, said the initiative had police backing.
“The whole message is my community, my safety, which is something we focus on everyday,” she said. “We want Warrnambool to be a safe place for everyone.
“It’s a safe place and we want it to continue to be. We need public support to maintain it.”
Acting Senior Sergeant Barbary said it was commendable for Ms Thomson to go to the lengths she was in ensuring a safe community.
Reclaim the Night will be on Friday, November 23 at 8pm starting at the Civic Green. Ms Thomson said there will be posters of the walk throughout the city and any organisations looking to support Reclaim the Night can email Ms Thomson at email@example.com