Thursday, November 22, 2012

White Ribbon Day: A white ribbon rebellion

BENDIGO men are saying no to violence against women.

About 30 men stood on the steps of The Capital theatre yesterday morning, united in their stance against violence as part of Bendigo’s White Ribbon campaign.

The Bendigo Business Council hosted a White Ribbon breakfast yesterday and a free community event will be held in Hargreaves Mall tomorrow from noon.

Bendigo Police Inspector Mark Edwards spoke at the White Ribbon breakfast yesterday and said violence against 

women took up a lot of police time.

“Crime is broken into two categories,” he said. 

“We have crime against property and crime against a person. If you look at crime against person, which is stuff like assaults, robberies and all that sort of stuff, 80 per cent of that category is assaults.

“Of that 80 per cent, a third of it is family violence.”  Inspector Edwards said police had done a lot of work on repeat victims and offenders.

“We try to link our victims into the right services, try to give them the courage and the opportunity to make that break, and get out of the cycle that they’re stuck in...So we’ll do things like, rather than wait for a call-out to these addresses, we’ll go to these addresses to check up.

“We’ll just drop in to see how things are going and try to get a feel for the place.” 

Family violence adviser Sergeant Margaret Singe described the response to yesterday’s breakfast as “fantastic”.

“Particularly because probably 50 per cent of the participants were men,” she said. “And White Ribbon is all about men leading the charge. 

“The breakfast was really the starting point in our White Ribbon activities. 

“On Friday we’ve got the community lunch, which goes from noon until 2pm in the mall. And the yarn bombers have been down and decorated our area for us. They’ve got white all around the area.”

Sergeant Singe has her fingers crossed that as many people as possible will support the event.

“It’s free but there will be a cost for the barbecue lunch,” she said.

“We’ll also have some entertainment – performers who’ve both written songs specifically for Friday about White Ribbon.”

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