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No More: Newcastle rally demands politicians to take further action on DV incidents

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Newcastle will be among the first cities to stage a national rally demanding politicians to “act now” against gendered sexual, domestic and family violence.

Created by local What Were You Wearing Australia founder and CEO Sarah Williams, No More is scheduled to take place at Newcastle Museum on Friday 26 April from 6pm.

Another protest will occur simultaneously in Ballarat, followed by campaigns in Adelaide and Sydney less than 24 hours later.

Melbourne, Bendigo, Geelong, Coffs Harbour, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra are then expected to follow suit on Sunday 28 April, with more locations to come.

In the wake of the Bondi Junction stabbings and the alarming surge in incidents of male violence, specifically against women, the Australian community, including activists and organisations, are uniting to make a stand.

Quite simply, the latest statistics paint a grim picture.

Twenty-nine women have died this year already at the hands of men; two-in-five have experienced gendered violence since the age of 15; and 53% will face sexual harassment in their lifetime with an estimated 97% of these cases going unreported.

Even this week, a man returned to a small central west town in NSW and allegedly murdered his former girlfriend, just 15 days after being granted bail on charges he violently and sexually attacked her multiple times.

But, behind these figures lie countless stories of pain, trauma and shattered lives.

“Enough is enough,” Ms Williams said.

“And, it has been enough for a long time.

“We need more action from politicians… and we need them to take these crimes more seriously.

“In 2012, two men were killed and it triggered a whole new law.

“Now, more than 60 women are being murdered every year and we are still lacking action.

“We encourage all Australians to join us in the fight to end the epidemic of gendered violence we are currently experiencing.”

What Were You Wearing CFO and long-time volunteer Ethan Fraser said it was important men supported the movement, too.

“When it’s males who are the predominant perpetrators of violence, it shouldn’t be left to everyone else, and the victims, to address and fight the issue,” he stated.

“If we aren’t willing to support and continue to deny there’s a problem, nothing will change.”

The No More rallies will start with a march through prominent streets in each area, followed by speeches, performances and organised activities that aim to help survivor victims, as well as provide a direct link to accessible services for them.

They also aim to raise awareness, advocate for change, and urge residents to address the pressing issue of violence that disproportionately impacts women, queer, disabled and Indigenous people.

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