Women’s March 4 Justice protesters call for end to violence against women as movement takes hold across nation

Kellie BalaamAlbany Advertiser
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Women's March For Justice participants make their way to the Albany Town Square.
Camera IconWomen's March For Justice participants make their way to the Albany Town Square. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

Men, women and children marched from Anzac Peace Park to Albany Town Square yesterday calling for an end to gendered violence.

The Women’s March 4 Justice was part of a nationwide protest movement inspired by Australian of the year Grace Tame and former Liberal Party staffer Brittany Higgins, who alleges she was raped in Parliament House.

Hundreds of people joined organiser Rachel Isaacson in a peaceful protest along York Street.

Rally organiser Rachel Isaacson with her daughter Lorelei, 11.
Camera IconRally organiser Rachel Isaacson with her daughter Lorelei, 11. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

“We are here to ask for gender equality,” Ms Isaacson said.

“It’s 2021 — you would think we wouldn’t have to ask for that but we do.

We are also here to call on the newly elected State Government to introduce coercive control legislation. We are also supporting a call for the opportunity to ask people with lived experience in these arenas to advise on policy.

“We’ve heard from a lot of amazing women and blokes who showed up to support us — we can’t do it without them — but it’s time for our voices to be heard as survivors.”

Julie Byrne-King.
Camera IconJulie Byrne-King. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

Menang Gnudju leader Carol Pettersen shared her traumatic story of domestic violence with the crowd.

Another survivor said she saw her father threatening to kill her and her mother as a child.

“What kept me from speaking out before was, of course, shame — my mother’s shame, the shame that made her say to me ‘We must never tell anyone what was happening to us’,” the woman said.

“Silence is such a terrible weapon, and silence has been weaponised for 200 years.”

Lorelei Isaacson, 11.
Camera IconLorelei Isaacson, 11. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

Ms Isaacson was proud of 11-year-old daughter Lorelei, who gave a small speech, and said it was “important to respect the voices of children too”.

The march and rally ended with the singing of "I Am Woman."
Camera IconThe march and rally ended with the singing of "I Am Woman." Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

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