Walking against gender-based violence

Three men and two women wearing bright orange T-shirts stand in front of a screen that says 'Join the Walk Against Family Violence'

City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Des Hudson launched the Walk Against Gender-Based Violence and the 16 Days of Activism campaign at Town Hall this morning.

The City of Ballarat is partnering with Grampians Health, Grampians Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committees and Zonta to host a walk against family violence starting from the City of Ballarat Town Hall today.  

The walk will launch the annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence —  a global campaign calling for the prevention and elimination of gender based violence.  The 16 days begin on 25 November, which is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and ends on 10 December, which is International Human Rights Day.  

City of Ballarat Youth Ambassadors are throwing their support behind the 16 Days of Activism campaign, seeking to promote awareness of the prevalence of domestic and family violence by creating tote bags, sharing appropriate support resources and stenciling around the CBD.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows 3.8 million Australian adults — 20 percent of the population — reported experiencing physical and/or sexual family and domestic violence since the age of 15. 

Additionally, one in six women — or 17 percent of women — have experienced physical and/or sexual violence at the hands of a current or previous cohabitating partner since the age of 15. The figure for men is one in 18, or 5.5 per cent.  

City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Des Hudson said reducing the rates of family and gender-based violence would need to begin with respect.  

“Violence against women is driven by a culture that allows it to happen,” he/she said.  

“Challenging gender stereotypes is a simple way we can all contribute to the reduction of gender-based violence and family violence in our communities.”  

City of Ballarat Youth Ambassador Millie Collins said the Youth Ambassadors aspired to work towards a safer Ballarat for all, fostering hope to eliminate domestic violence. 

“After flagging domestic violence and gender based violence as a significant, impactful and prevalent subject within the lives of young people locally, Ballarat Youth Ambassadors made the active decision to join the call to prevent and educate young people within the spheres of domestic violence,” she said.  

“As young people, we deserve a promising future free from the fear of violence at the hands of a loved one.”  

The Walk Against Family Violence will be held on Friday 24 November from 4-5.45pm, the walk will take participants approximately 15 minutes to complete  and will leave from the Ballarat Town Hall. Participants are encouraged to wear orange, bring a water bottle and to bring colourful signs and banners. Participants are welcome to bring their dogs if they are on a leash. The walking track is wheelchair accessible. Two wheelchairs will be available for participants to utilise on request from the Town Hall.  

Following the walk, there will be an opportunity to hear from guest and speakers, and to share some light finger food and listen to entertainment in the Trench Room at the Ballarat Town Hall.  

For more information about the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign, visit the Respect Victoria website.