In Gladstone, the Gladstone Women’s Health, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Centre has responded to the Not Now, Not Ever challenge with the ‘Not in our town’ campaign.
See what they’ve done and what you can do to tackle domestic and family violence.
TASH: So the Gladstone Women's Health Centre and Sexual Assault Centre is all about providing free counselling and support to members of Gladstone. It includes men, and children, and of course women. And we also provide numerous community education programs as well that supports the counselling that we do. So the concept of the Not in Our Town campaign is about highlighting the issues that we've got obviously within our community. So the whole idea is adopting a sense of ownership for the town.
MERRYL: It's been ten years since I got out of the relationship so it's taken me that long to get the courage and the strength to tell my story. The Not in Our Town goals should be to get the community at large to understand that violence of any sort from any person to another person will not be tolerated.
JAMIE: Domestic violence in regional and rural centres is much higher than it is in cities and CBD and metro. Because communities are so tight-knit that individuals don't want to admit to being a victim of domestic violence because their friend might be a policeman or their husband might know the doctor or those kinds of relationships. So it prevents women from coming forward.
TASH: Community response to the Not in Our Town campaign has been amazing. We've had a lot of people get right behind it. We had something like 6 or 700 likes within 24 hours on Facebook. Yeah, the feedback has been fantastic. And we've got a lot of people supporting this campaign and a lot of interest in other parties also wanting to roll it out in their town.
MERRYL: This local campaign of Not in Our Town, I believe, is going to open the eyes of a lot of people to what actually does happen maybe next door. Maybe in your workplace. Maybe to your friends who don't even realise that they may be in a situation of domestic violence.
TASH: So for the Not in Our Town campaign we don't want it to be seen as a ribbon campaign where you wear a ribbon once a month, and the last eleven months of the year are forgotten about. So this is a campaign for the people about the people. We want the community to take ownership for it, because when they do take ownership, then they act.