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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Women’s groups partner for global campaign

There’s a saying that goes ‘many hands make light work’.

The women at Zonta and Lake Macquarie City Council are hoping their hands will help make a positive difference to the lives of local women during an annual 16 Days of Activism.

The pair have partnered to produce a poster with emergency contact numbers that will be displayed in all council facilities for the next three months.

Bright orange in colour, the posters will include the phone numbers of counselling services, homelessness support, domestic violence, legal aid and mental health support.

Zonta Club of Hunter Newcastle chairperson Jill Maclachlan said the joint initiative was about playing a part in a global campaign.

“Now, more than ever, it’s essential we work together to end violence against women and girls,” she said.

“Being in parks and public toilets and libraries, we’re hoping the posters will become a useful resource to a woman when she needs it.”

Lake Macquarie City Council community planner Jess Salvador said the timing of the campaign was also no accident.

“We know that this time of year is particularly stressful,” she said.

“In the three months leading up to Christmas there is traditionally an increase in violence, and we see an increase in women accessing our services.

“This campaign is aimed at supporting women by letting them know exactly where to go to for help.”

Ms Salvador said this year the community faced additional stresses due to COVID-19.

“Police in Lake Macquarie have been responding to eight cases of DV (domestic violence) a day during COVID,” she said.

“We know that, when women experience domestic violence, the children also suffer, and we want to change that.”

The emergency contact numbers will be displayed on A4 and A3 posters at all Lake Macquarie City Council public facilities.

“The posters also mark the start of the 16 Days of Activism campaign,” Ms Maclachlan said.

“[It] will finish with the Clock Tower Newcastle being lit up for three days.”

The United Nations global campaign, 16 Days of Activism, was launched in 2012 and hopes to raise awareness about women’s rights violations.

The event will go from 25 November to 10 December.