The turnout to this year’s White Ribbon Day march on Thursday, November 30 was down on last year – which Tenterfield Social Development Committee’s Karen Mooney said may have been due to the poor weather.
Still she feels the event met its aim of raising awareness on the issue of domestic violence.
White Ribbon Day aims to eliminate violence against women by men, and a chorus of Tenterfield men led the way by standing together in Bruxner Park to take to an oath to stand up, speak out and act to prevent men’s violence against women.
Mr Townes gave a powerful speech on the need for men – particularly non-violent men like himself and the majority of Australians – to shoulder the responsibility to get rid of this scourge on our society.
“It should not fall to the lot of women,” he said.
“When it does occur, stats show that in 95 per cent of cases it’s perpetrated by men against women and children. Domestic violence is a male issue.”
See Mr Townes’ full address here…
Following the Welcome to Country by Cheryl Duroux, Wayne Lusty was this year’s guest speaker and noted it was good to see some high schoolers among the men represented at the march.
He said despite being stereotyped as a biker, he deplored the domestic violence that is rampant not only across Australia but in our local area.
Mr Lusty said one in three women will experience domestic violence, and one in five will be sexually harassed.
“We must bring this into the open so we can address it,” he said.
“A woman’s home should not be her most dangerous place.”
He advised those men feeling that a domestic situation was getting out of control to walk outside, make a phone call and seek help. He feels gender equality may go some way towards addressing the problem, with more demonstrations of mutual respect and fewer crude jokes and innuendo a step in the right direction.
“As you leave here today, think of someone you can help,” he implored.
”Let’s not be mushrooms, and wait for another 12 months for a ocassion like this.
“Let’s do something about it, and keep the awareness up.”