More than 150 people took part in the inaugural Wodonga Community Walk Against Family Violence that was held as part of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence.
Junction Support Services were proud to join the Department of Health and Human Services and the Salvation Army to organise the walk, which was supported by Wodonga Police and more than 20 local oganisations, agencies, schools and members of the community.
The walk started outside St Stephen’s Uniting Church, headed down High Street and finished in Junction Place with a free barbecue cooked by Wodonga Rotary.
Junction Support Services Family and Children’s Specialist Services Acting Manager Claire Anderson, says family violence has a huge impact on our clients and many Junction staff walked on the day.
“We see the lifelong effects that family violence has on people, especially young people who then have relationship issues or see violence as a solution to conflict. Each year, our Family and Children’s Specialists Services team, counsel more than 180 children who have experienced trauma – the majority of it from witnessing family violence.”
Speakers at Junction Place included Sgt Mick Bourke from Wodonga Police, Salvation Army Capt Christine Abram and Junction’s Tim Wallis.
Tim read an account by a local young man of his experience growing up surrounded by family violence and how it has shaped him:
As a boy growing up, I saw and heard my parents fighting with each other, both verbally and physically. I thought this was normal behaviour between parents and while I and my siblings tried to stop the fighting, it often felt like there was nothing we could do to prevent it. Nobody ever said to us this was Family Violence.
As a teenager, I haven’t really cared what happened to me… I’ve never actually physically assaulted a woman but I’ve spoken to them in a disrespectful manner by screaming at them, calling them disgusting names and using them. I’d like to have a serious relationship in the future but I’m scared I might turn out to be like my parents. Now I know that what I grew up with was Family Violence, and it’s not normal or how it’s supposed to be.
Thank you to the following organisations for taking part in the 2017 Community Walk Against Family Violence:
Triple M’s Lu and Matt for walking and MCing the event
North East Water
Department of Health and Human Services
City of Wodonga staff
Wodonga Sports and Leisure Centre (YMCA Victoria)
Wodonga Senior Secondary College
Local Bhutanese community
Department of Justice
Murray Primary Health Network
Centre Against Violence
Restart Albury Wodonga
Upper Murray Family Care
Hume Riverina Community Legal Service
- If you need immediate assistance, please call triple 0.
For advice and support, please call the Centre Against Violence on (03) 5722 2203 or 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)