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Campaign to highlight violence against women


The Lake Macquarie Domestic Violence Committee has launched a new campaign to mark a global initiative and bring awareness to the community.

The annual 16 Days of Activism, which started last week, aims to challenge and recognise the ongoing crisis that is violence against women.

To showcase this issue, the Lake Macquarie committee has installed 16 large footpath stickers on the cycleway in Speers Point Park.

The stickers explore the stories of 16 women who have experienced some form of violence.

“We wanted to create a campaign to bring awareness and we wanted the whole community to be able to see and interact with it,” the committee’s chairperson, Jessica Salvador, said.

“We wanted to illustrate what domestic violence involves and, through the 16 stories, we are able to share real stories from real survivors.”

Ms Salvador and the committee are hoping the campaign “gets people thinking” to realise that domestic violence is so much more than just physical abuse.

Since the launch of the campaign, Ms Salvador said the committee had received some feedback stating that the campaign should focus on respectful relationships rather than just violence against women.

However, she believed that they “have provided as much balance as possible”.

“Ninety-five per cent of violence is against women – the 16 Days of Activism is targeted at gender-based violence,” she said.

This campaign is increasingly important because of the prevalence of domestic violence within the local community.

According to Ms Salvador, Lake Macquarie has a “high incidence of domestic violence,” with police responding to about eight call outs every day.

She added that this number tends to “increase over the festive season, as stressors within families rise”.

The campaign will conclude on December 10 – Human Rights Day.

If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, seek support from friends and family or call the national support line 1800RESPECT.

The hotline has trained counsellors to answer your call and provide details of local services.

For more information about the committee, visit the Lake Macquarie Domestic Violence Facebook page.

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