Noosa White Ribbon committee spokesman Bob Birkhead teamed up with United Synergies, Zonta Club of Noosa, Free to Shine charity and Noosa Council to organise Noosa’s first official White Ribbon campaign and was overwhelmed when about 300 people came to march, talk and back the event last Friday.
“Domestic violence is not concentrated in specific socio-economic groups. It is spread across the whole community – even here in Noosa,” Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington said to the crowd.
“Around a third of all policing time is taken up with domestic violence issues – and that includes here in Noosa. That’s a shocking reminder that no community is immune from this problem.”
“So what can we do? Well raising awareness through actions like today’s walk is one important approach.
“But we need also to encourage victims to understand that they have support.
“A Vulnerable Persons Unit has been established on the Sunshine Coast to assist domestic violence victims
“But the real message here is that victims of domestic violence need to know they are not the problem. They need to trust the various support services available to them. And that is an easy thing for me, standing here, to say, but it is often a very difficult mindset for victims to embrace – particularly if they are afraid of repercussions.
“Our message today to victims of domestic violence is “don’t be afraid to stand up and speak out”.
“Not only do victims need to talk about it, but so do we all. By making it part of the national conversation, we send a strong message about what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour in our society. Domestic violence is never acceptable.”
For help with domestic violence issues call 1800 RESPECT.