AUSTRALIAN POLICE DEAL WITH DOMESTIC VIOLENCE EVERY TWO MINUTE
Domestic Violence is a crime. Yet, day in and day out, police are kept busy in every community in Australia.
From January 2014 to December 2015 the Hunter Valley area had a rise in domestic violence incidents of 12%.
For the first time the government’s Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has accumulated comprehensive data on the frequency of violence. The findings are that one woman a week and one man a month is killed by a current or former partner.
It also found that domestic and family violence are the leading cause of homelessness. This problem has grown in the past five years and sadly millions of children had been physically or sexually abused.
WALK A MILE KOORI STYLE
At Warlga Ngurra Women and Children’s Refuge we deal daily with many victims of domestic violence. Ninety-five per cent of our clients are victims. We often see women who want to change their lives and live free from the violence but are conflicted because they still love their partners. In many cases the men do not see that the abuse is hurting anyone. Most of the women and children see it differently. We don’t want our clients or other women in our community to become a domestic violence statistic.
WALK A MILE KOORI STYLE INSPIRED BY
We were inspired by the international campaign “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” (http://www.walkamileinhershoes.org/) an awareness campaign where men wear women’s shoes (usually red, sparkly, high heels) that show men’s rejection of violence against women.
We decided to do a mile walk, “Koori Style”, so instead of heels the men would walk together in the same coloured t-shirt with a unique Indigenous design. The original art work for the logo was created by Elsie Randall a strong Aboriginal woman who has worked with families affected by violence.
A survey of Indigenous male youth received an overwhelmingly positive response. Young males stated that they would like to participate in a march to say “no” to violence against girls and women. They believed that the violence towards their loved ones had to stop and that silence should no longer be a part of any culture, especially their own.
In February 2016 the NSW Police launched a video “It’s Not Your Fault” to encourage victims of domestic violence to come forward. The video was played at Sport’s Clubs, RSL’s and other venues. That video to date 2,280,639 views. It is to raise awareness and to remind the victims, it’s not their fault, in hopes to have more victims speak up.
OUR CHILDREN OUR FUTURE
Domestic violence has led to the physical injury and death of children. Domestic violence in the family home puts children at a high risk of physical abuse. A child who lives with a parent who is frightening, abusive, intolerant, and selfish, will suffer psychological harm. The domestic violence dynamic creates a toxic environment that results in complex trauma. This in turn damages the developing brain of a child and can have profound, long-term effects.
In Australia in 2009 to 2010 there were 24 children murdered, in 2010 to 2012 there were 61 children murdered, and in 2013 there were 41 children murdered. We need to raise awareness and stop the cycle of abuse. As a community we need to ensure our children grow up in a positive environment. Most men are not violent. But the vast majority of acts of domestic violence are perpetrated by men against women.
We believe that we need to raise awareness to assist in the prevention of domestic violence. We want the cycle to be broken in families that have experienced this trauma, through the generations. Public awareness about domestic violence has grown and many members of the community want to be actively involved in stopping this crime.
THE MAJORITY OF MEN ARE NOT VIOLENT.
We need these good men to make a public stand against domestic violence and join Walk A Mile Koori Style. 2018 will be our 6th year of organising Walk A Mile Koori Style. Every year has grown in community support and we look forward to an even larger event this year.
- In 2013 the rain, washed the event out. We had 60 registered walkers.
- In 2014 saw the 1st successful walk and we had over 250 registered walkers.
- In 2015 saw the 2nd successful walk and we had over 450 registered walkers
- In 2016 was the 3rd successful walk and we had over 650 registered walkers
- In 2017 was the 4th successful walk and we had over 750 registered walkers
Registrations for the boys and men start at 9:00am, at Anne Feneley Lookout, Corner of Watt Street and Reserve Road Newcastle. At this time walkers collect their packs and put on their t-shirts. Packs can also be premade and delivered or picked up.
The girls and women will gather in King Edward Park, near the exit gates. This is the corner of The Terrace and York Drive. They will be entertained while waiting for the walkers to arrive.
At 10:00am the males will start the walk at the corner of Church Street and Watt Street. Don’t worry about the confusion, they will be guided by the registration staff at Anne Feneley Lookout what to do and where to go.
The walk will be led by an Aboriginal and a Torres Strait Islander male, then by all the countries of the world. These leaders will be traditionally dressed. They will then walk up Watt St, on to Reserve Rd, into York Dr (King Edward park) to the top of the hill at the exit gates. Here they will finish their mile walk. The males will give their oath to the women, to help end violence against women. Then one of the girls or women will accept the oath on behalf of all the women and children.
We are hoping that the TAFE project called “Remembering The Women” will provide uniquely decorated dresses that has been made to honour every woman who has been murdered in Australia in 2018. The dresses will be on public display and after the oath, every dress will be carried down and displayed in the event area
Amongst the community there has been a demand for additional active prevention programs to end domestic violence. The widespread nature of domestic violence is a problem not only to victims but to our society as a whole.
We invite you as a representative of your work, organisation, school, or as a community member to join our volunteer committee and help behind the scenes to make Walk A Mile Koori Style a success for 2018 and beyond. We meet at 10:30am, on the second last Thursday of each month, at Warlga Ngurra (please make contact to receive the address).
We welcome donations. All donations over $2.00 are tax deductible and donations of $500.00 or more will have your organisation’s name included on the back of the t-shirts that get printed for us by Onya Screen Printers at Warners Bay.
We hold a raffle and fundraising events throughout the year, so we would appreciate donations of products or gift vouchers to use as prizes. Your presence at our annual charity dinner where we have a silent auction that helps us raise money to buy the t-shirts for the walkers. You could even volunteer your time at one of our fundraising events.
Please invite your family, friends and co-workers to attend Walk A Mile Koori Style. The best advertising is word of mouth, so please interact with our Facebook page and share our posts widely, to help other members of the community know about our event.
WALK A MILE KOORI STYLE T-SHIRTS
Every year the boys and men taking part in the walk are provided with a free t-shirt. The current years t-shirts are “Men’s Business” and are not to be worn by girls or women.
T-shirts from prior years can be worn by girls and women and are available to buy.
In 2018, we hope to have approximately 1000 walkers. The indigenous men and boys will lead, followed by men and boys in traditional dress from other cultures, after who will come groups of men and boys with a banner to represent who they are. We encourage organisations, businesses and schools to make a banner to walk behind.
After the walk and oath there will be speakers, musicians, and other entertainment. At previous events students from 22 schools across the Hunter have attended. We look forward to providing the next generation with a positive message that domestic violence will not be tolerated.
“Walk A Mile Koori Style allows boys and men the opportunity to represent positive masculinity. They can be modern day warriors and say “no” to domestic violence”.
It is important to understand that ONLY the men walk. This walk is about them saying NO.
The women meet on the hill at the exit gates in King Edward Park. That is also where we acknowledge the women that have died that year.
Over 22 schools have supported us yearly and that shows their community, their commitment to help end all this violence and create good and healthy relationships for the future. In 2016, classrooms across NSW started talking about domestic violence and what their role is when they see it happen. The curriculum was changed to include specific material about the issue (age appropriate).
Your school can join us every year and include both males and females.
“Alana, who is in year 10, said it was important to spell out exactly what domestic violence looked like”
Please email students registration to firstname.lastname@example.org or go online to sticky tickets https://www.stickytickets.com.au/46863/walk_a_mile_koori_style_2018.aspx and register 30 people at a time. Let your students hold your school banner in front of them to let Newcastle know your school is saying no more.
We also would like that any student who wants to dress as they do in their country it would be greatly appreciated.
DONATIONS FOR WALK A MILE KOORI STYLE 2018
Walk a Mile Koori Style is currently looking for donations to assist with our 2018 event.
My name is Liann Taffe and I’m part of the organising committee behind Walk a Mile Koori Style. We are hosting our annual walk on the 30th of November 2018, at King Edward Park, Newcastle. Your donation would go towards the costs of holding the event and to a local charity that assists victims of domestic violence. We know from prior years that we need to raise $20,000.00, this year we hope to raise even more.
So far, we are expecting approximately 1,000 participants. This event would not be possible without the support of local businesses who provide valuable products and services so that we can support participants during the event. We would like to offer you the opportunity to donate goods and services or sponsor a specific part of the event. For example, if your company would like to donate to cover the cost of a jumping castle for the day, we would happily have a sign stating, “Free jumping castle thanks to our sponsor…” with your name and logo. Some other ideas for sponsorship include but are not limited to children’s amusement rides or entertainment, bottles of water, sunscreen, a slushy machine, walker’s prizes, items to raffle, the use of a marquee for shade. Please contact me for further information or to discuss your new ideas.
Thank you for your consideration. With your help, we are one step closer to our goal.
The dresses represent the women who have died each year due to Domestic Violence from a current or ex partner or someone they know. These women can be found on “Destroy The Joint” on Facebook.
Selling the t-shirts to raise funds for the next year’s event