Council urges community to speak up against domestic violence
Thursday, 19 November 2020
Central Coast residents are being urged to step up and speak out against domestic violence as Council joins a 16-day global campaign to help end domestic violence in our community.
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day.
Council is running a series of educational campaigns and events throughout the 16 Days of Activism (and beyond) to make it clear that violence against women is never acceptable.
Council Director Connected Communities Julie Vaughan said domestic violence is a real and serious issue impacting the Central Coast.
“Statistics show that the Central Coast had the second-highest number of domestic violence Apprehended Violence Orders in New South Wales for the 12 months prior to June 2020*,” said Ms Vaughan.
“We need powerful statements and actions if we are going to change the Coast’s statistics and make our communities safe for women to lead the lives they and their children deserve.
“Council has been working with key partners and respected experts to help educate our community and raise awareness of this issue.”
Campaigns and events being run and supported by Council throughout the 16 Days of Activism include:
Lightboxes illuminate an important story: A public exhibition using pop-up lightboxes will be placed at Erina Fair from 23 November to 2 December and The Entrance foreshore from 2 to 10 December. The lightboxes aim to shine a spotlight on the issue and help victims, their families and friends to identify the signs of abuse. This information is a critical tool to educate the community on the role they can play in stopping it.
Step Up Against Domestic Violence: Council is proud to be supporting the Central Coast Domestic Violence Committee in their walk against domestic violence. This year the event will be virtual, and residents are being asked to commit to doing their own walk during the 16 Days of Activism. Post a photo to ‘Step Up Against Domestic Violence’ and share why domestic violence is never okay.
In conversation with Jess Hill: On 3 December, Council’s Library Service will be hosting a special online discussion with investigative journalist Jess Hill about her critically acclaimed and award-winning book 'See What You Made Me Do; Power, Control and Domestic Abuse'. Bookings are essential for this free online event via www.centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/libraries.
Sharing a strong message with our young people: Following the success of the 2019 project, Council is relaunching its Positive Relationships campaign in 2020. Developed in consultation with young people on the Coast, the campaign is designed to educate young people about prevention through respectful relationships that encourage social and generational change.
Local liquor outlets join forces: Council is partnering with the Central Coast Domestic Violence Committee and Liquor Accord to send a strong message about domestic violence. Major liquor outlets across the Coast will display the slogan ‘Domestic abuse: it is your business’ on their bottle shop brown bags and hand sanitisers. They will be available over the summer season to educate the community that we all have an important role to play in ending domestic violence.
Let’s Change the Story: Council is working with primary prevention agency OurWatch to ‘Change the Story’. A series of public statements will drive audiences to an educational video illustrating the drivers of violence against women. Billboards will be placed in high traffic locations on Henry Parry Drive, Gosford and the corner of South Street and Wyong Road, Killarney Vale from 25 November.
Council Administrator, Dick Persson AM said we all have a responsibility to reach out and help support our community.
“Council has an important role to play in tackling social issues that impact on community wellbeing, including domestic violence. We want the Central Coast to be a safe place for all to live,” said Mr Persson.
“Raising public awareness is one way we can bring this issue to the forefront of conversation, coupling this with education encourages people to change their actions. It’s a way to change the culture of abuse that is hurting our region.”