Campaign to help end family violence

Jessica CuthbertAlbany Advertiser

There have been more than 1600 incidents of family violence in the Great Southern in the past year.

Albany community members are being encouraged to show their support for those experiencing family violence by participating in the Albany Women’s Centre’s Umbrella Project during the 16 Days of Activism campaign.

People are being invited to submit photographs or posters using umbrellas as symbols of support from agencies, organisations, family, friends and community.

Local White Ribbon ambassadors are getting behind the project to encourage community members to be active bystanders to violence by offering support to women experiencing violence.

Albany Family and Domestic Violence Action Group’s Jared Croston said participating in the Umbrella Project was an easy way to show survivors of violence there was help.

“This is an opportunity for us all to show support for women experiencing family violence by being active bystanders. We can help by simply offering to listen and being open to providing assistance,” he said.

The Albany Women’s Centre will display photos and posters received for theUmbrella Project at public locations during the campaign from November 25 and December 10.

Project co-ordinator Jan Cheeseman from Albany Women’s Centre said the aim of the project was to have open discussions about family violence and how to support survivors and prevent future violence.

“Domestic violence is a huge issue in Albany, so I think it’s so important that people know there are so many services and support systems out there for them,” she said.

“Sometimes it’s about being a listening ear and the issue doesn’t just effect the victim it effects the community; it’s a public issue and there are people to help.”

The Umbrella Project is co-ordinated by Albany Women’s Centre with support from AFDVAG and the Soroptimist International Albany Branch.

It is estimated known Great Southern incidents of family violence represents only 20 per cent of incidents due to low levels of reporting.

Support is available to those impacted by family violence by calling Albany Women’s Centre 24 hours a day on 9845 6000.

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