Active bystanders campaign supported by Council

Central Coast Council is working with the NSW Police Force, the Tuggerh Lakes and Brisbane Waters Liquor Accords, Central Coast Domestic Violence Committee and high-profile authors to start important conversations about domestic abuse.

The Central Coast has the second highest number of domestic violence assaults in NSW, and the impact of COVID-19 has made seeking help more difficult.

The region is also overrepresented in breaches of apprehended violence orders.

Council Director of Community and Recreation Services, Julie Vaughan, said it is more important than ever for all community members to play a role in ending violence against women.

“We can all play a part by becoming active bystanders who say no to abuse and report abuse if we see or hear it.

“To mark White Ribbon Day and the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, we will be working with our partners to rollout important education campaigns across November and December,” Vaughan said.

“The See Something, Do Something campaign encourages people who witness any form of abuse or violence to act.

“NSW Police tell us that domestic assaults go underreported and it is important to remember that the health and safety of others is everyone’s business.

“We need to address the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns and whilst restrictions were necessary to control the spread of the virus and keep us all safe, this however, has meant that women and children who experience domestic abuse were and continue to be exposed to spending more time with their perpetrators at home, creating further barriers of not being able to report the abuse,” Vaughan said.

Council Administrator, Rik Hart, said we must break the ‘it’s not my problem’ paralysis and take an active role in the solution in order to make the Central Coast a safe place for us all to live.

“Council is proud to be collaborating with local Police, the Tuggerah Lakes and Brisbane Waters Liquor Accords, Central Coast Domestic Violence Committee and high-profile authors to deliver this important message,” Hart said.

Initiatives featured as part of this year’s campaign include the See Something, Do Something video, town centres banners, radio ads, social media, and free face masks featuring the message Say No to Abuse.

On November 23, at 6:30pm, Council’s library team will host an online author panel featuring domestic violence campaigner and former Australian of the Year, Rosie Battie, who will be talking about her book A Mothers Story, as well as author of A Father’s Plea, Kamalle Dabboussy, author of A Mother’s Wound, Amani Haydar and authors of She is not her rehab, Matt and Sarah Brown.

This event aims to start a discussion on the role of men, women and organisations in advocating, initiating, and modelling change.

White Ribbon Day is on November 19 and this year’s focus is How can men make Change, Learn, Give and Take Action.

The campaign provides practical tools to empower people to report domestic abuse. If it is an emergency or life-threatening situation call Triple 000 or local police, or call Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000.

Harry Mulholland

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