30 November 2023

Call to join Riverina Police and Rotary in march against gender-based violence

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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Poster for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

The Call to Action and March against Gender-Based Violence initiative is part of the United Nations’ annual global campaign against violence. Photo: United Nations.

Riverina Police and Wagga’s combined Rotary clubs invite the community to join their march to end gender-based violence as part of a global campaign.

The Call to Action and March to End Gender-Based Violence coincides with the United Nations’ annual campaign 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

The march will start at Wagga Wagga Police Station at 10 am on Friday 1 December and end at Wollundry Lagoon, followed by a barbecue.

“NSW Police has partnered with Rotary to look at gender-based violence to see how we can try and stop it in the community and work together,” said Riverina Police District Inspector Jill Gibson.

“[The march] is important. It shows people want to stop it [gender-based violence] and reinforces that the community is against domestic violence.

“There will be a lot of organisations and services involved, and they will be there on the day, and it shows what sort of support services are available in our Wagga area.”

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Insp Gibson said Riverina Police District was looking to expand its partnership with Rotary in 2024.

“Rotary is fantastic, and they do amazing community work,” Insp Gibson said.

South Wagga Rotary member Milena Dunn said with the number of women being hurt and murdered through gender-based violence, Rotary Australia and New Zealand had taken the issues on board to do something about it.

“The fact women are being so frequently murdered not only in Australia but also in other parts of the world shows it really is a gender matter … but there are some men who are affected by domestic violence as well,” Mrs Dunn said.

“Rotary has decided to do something about it [gender-based violence]. It is good because Rotary, to many people, is men even though we’ve accepted women for many years.”

Mrs Dunn said the march being held in the lead-up to Christmas was essential and should be considered in the 16 Days of Activism.

“For years, Women’s Health Centre has been involved, and they’ve had men come and tie a white ribbon on the fence for every woman murdered,” Mrs Dunn said.

“It’s a poignant reminder for people to attend that event, but many people don’t.

“Even though it’s only a short march, it [issues of domestic violence] will be brought to people’s attention.”

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Mrs Dunn said Rotary was always happy to join hands with the police.

“It’s about joining with the community and showing that we’re there to support every step of the way,” she said.

“The police are part of the answer, and you need to report it [incidents of violence] to them.”

Those who want to join the march are encouraged to wear purple on the day. The Rotary Peace Communities stand will be set up at the civic precinct, where people can order T-shirts.

People can park at Wagga Beach and the Riverside precinct.

Visit Wagga Women’s Health Centre to learn more about their services.

If this story has raised any issues for you, you can call 1800 Respect, a 24-hour national sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling line, on 1800 737 732.

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