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Community groups gather to end violence against women.

Kempsey Family Support Service “Men In Families” Worker Ian Robinson (front Right) With Community Service Providers At Woolworths Kempsey Promoting White Ribbon Day
Kempsey Family Support Service “Men in Families” worker Ian Robinson (front right) with community service providers at Woolworths Kempsey promoting White Ribbon Day

Kempsey Family Support Service “Men in Families” worker Ian Robinson (front right) with community service providers at Woolworths Kempsey promoting White Ribbon Day 

WHITE Ribbon Day is Australia’s only national, male-led campaign to end men’s violence against women with the vision that all women live in safety free from all forms of men’s violence. The campaign works through primary prevention initiatives involving awareness raising and education, and programs with youth, schools, workplaces and across the broader community.

White Ribbon Day is also the largest male-led movement to end men’s violence against women in Kempsey with social service organisations across Kempsey currently highlighting the campaign throughout the community. Kempsey Family Support Service Men in Families worker Ian Robinson said White Ribbon Day is all about raising the awareness of domestic and family violence in the community. “White Ribbon Day is a campaign to end violence against women in our community,” Mr Robinson said. “Over the past month we have been working closely with the students of Macleay Vocational College by having an ongoing conversation every week for an hour about the complexities of domestic and family violence. “We discuss the different forms of domestic violence and respectful relationships, which involves breaking down all the different forms of domestic violence into subcategories of sexual, financial and emotional abuse.”

The NSW Recorded Crime Statistics December 2014 show domestic violence assaults in the Kempsey region increased from 1.7 to 1.8 times the state average, however, recorded domestic violence assaults decreased from the 12 months to December 2014 quarter from 238 reported incidences to 222 reported incidences.

Mid-North Coast Local Area Commander Superintendent Paul Fehon said domestic violence is of the highest priority for his officers and command. “Our approach to domestic violence is to be consistent by ensuring the safety of the victims and that is demonstrated through the legal action rate we have for crimes committed in domestic violence,” Supt Fehon said. “We are consistently above our target in ensuring that action is commenced and placed before the court especially for matters of assault on victims of domestic violence.”

Mr Robinson said White Ribbon Day brings awareness of domestic violence, which helps in breaking the cycle of violence within the community. “Education about domestic and family violence needs to start in primary schools,” Mr Robinson said. “Young people are witnessing domestic violence at a young age and to have a real cultural shift we need to start with young people with respectful relationship programs. “As a youth worker I’ve been called in to the schools to work with young people who have really incorrect views of gender equality so educating them to understand gender equality is really important. “From my experience most young people are very well informed about the different forms of domestic and family violence and from the program we have just delivered we asked the young people to come up with a slogan, which is ‘Zero DV in KMC’ and ‘2440 says no to DV.’ “I believe there is a growing knowledge within young people and primary prevention campaigns like the White Ribbon Day is essential to breaking that cycle.”

Kempsey Family Support Service “Men in Families” worker Ian Robinson (front right) with community service providers at Woolworths Kempsey promoting White Ribbon Day