Much of the work of Mudgee's Barnardos involves what White Ribbon Day is about. Pictured with the “silent witnesses” that will be a part of the local display on Wednesday are Tianna Lasham and Kate Baker.
On Wednesday the local White Ribbon Day acknowledgement will be held the Mudgee People Against Violence Committee (PAV), formed of people from a cross-section of the community including employees of Barnardos.
November 25 is when events are held across Australia to educate and raise awareness about men’s violence against women.
Barnardos Mudgee’s Kate Baker and Carole O’Riely are founding members of the PAV Committee and there is a significant amount of cross over between their work and the committee.
“Domestic Violence affects every community and it just has a rippling effect on friends, family, work, right through,” Kate said.
The organisation helps victims find housing if they want to leave, they do referrals out to counselling and for legal advice.
And Carole’s role as a specialist homeless, domestic violence and family worker sees her work with vulnerable people who have been affected.
“We support them in their transition because it is really hard to have to leave the family,” Kate said.
The PAV committee’s White Ribbon Day display will be in Bill Cox Square outside the Newsagent in Market Street, Mudgee, from 10am to 2pm.
There they will be selling White Ribbons and local men can take the pledge not to cause, excuse or be silent about violence against women.
Committee members will also be on hand to provide information on the local services that provide support for anyone wanting to talk to someone.
It will also feature artwork created by participants of the ‘Love Bites’ domestic violence and sexual assault awareness program for students in Year 10 in all of the high schools in the local region.
The “silent witness” silhouettes will be a part of the display as well, each features the story of a domestic violence case, they are currently at a number of locations throughout the town for the month of November.
One of those places has been the front yard of Barnardos’ Mudgee premises (pictured).
“People have stopped and read the stories that has obviously brought an awareness, which is what it’s all about,” Kate said.
“Along with people standing up and saying ‘no, it’s not okay in our community.”
Membership of PAV is open to anyone interested in joining by contacting chairperson Sue Williams at the Benevolent Society Mudgee on 6370 8100.
For more information head to www.whiteribbon.org.au
(This article first appeared in the Mudgee Guardian and was written by Sam Potts.)
Violence against women costing Australia $21.7 billion a year