By Brofie Jiggins, Public Relations and Communication student
I personally have never experienced, witnessed, or known anyone to experience domestic violence, and up until Wednesday, never truly realised the impact it has on Australian families.
Attending the White Ribbon Day event in Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall, I was given the wonderful opportunity to talk to many people influenced by this issue, and boy did I learn a lot.
Two women in particular that I was given the absolute pleasure of talking to managed to bring tears to my eyes.
One woman described her own struggles of domestic violence and, although now thankfully free, explained how she is still trying to gain custody of her daughter to save her from the hands of domestic violence.
No more than a few seconds later another woman described to me her story of domestic violence and how she escaped her violent partner. Both of these women, complete strangers, then consoled each another, explaining their struggles and encouraging one another to keep going.
Both of these ladies have to be among the bravest people I’ve met, taking it upon themselves to escape the hands of violent partners and try to spread their message that life does get better.
On average, one woman is killed every week by a current or former partner in Australia. On Wednesday, represented by 52 silhouettes, White Ribbon created a visually confronting display to highlight to the public the severity of the issue.
Completely running out of the 700+ white ribbons available to sell to the public, it was remarkable to see the community spirit and support for this wonderful cause.
Raising a total of over $5000 from our stall in Queen Street Mall alone, it truly goes to show the community’s overwhelming support and determination to stand up against domestic violence against women.
Although Australia still has a long way to go, joining White Ribbon in the constant fight to stop violence against women and spread their message and educate our communities to stand up against this inexcusable behavior.
With the experiences this day has given me, the people I’ve met, and what I’ve learnt, I take it upon myself to ‘swear never to commit, excuse, or remain silent about violence against women, this is my oath’.
Head over to White Ribbons Website, http://www.whiteribbon.org.au/day, to swear the oath of White Ribbon and show Australia that you stand up against domestic violence against women.