Ending violence cycle

JOINING FORCES: Women's Health Grampians chief executive officer Marianne Hendron is leading a campaign to end violence against women in the Grampians.

JOINING FORCES: Women's Health Grampians chief executive officer Marianne Hendron is leading a campaign to end violence against women in the Grampians.

More than 25 Grampians organisations are set to join forces in a landmark campaign aimed at ending violence against women and children.

The new initiative called “Communities of Respect and Equality” is a Grampians prevention strategy aimed at raising awareness about violence against women and its key driver, gender inequality.

Rural and regional communities continued to overrepresented with Ballarat’s rate of family violence 50 per cent higher than the Victorian average. 

Women’s Health Grampians chief executive officer Marianne Hendron said all violence against women and children was unacceptable and preventable.

“It has been uplifting to meet with and hear from senior leaders of organisations across the Grampians region who believe by working together we can create communities of respect and equality where everybody has the right to be safe,” Ms Hendron said.

Former Victoria Police assistant commissioner Doctor Leigh Gassner has backed the initiative.

Doctor Gassner consulted the Australian Human Rights Commission on violence against women and will be a guest speaker at the launch of the project next on later this month.

“Mobilising the community, in building equality and respect is key to preventing violence against women and children,” Doctor Gassner said.

“Violence against women is a community issue and we must all work towards creating safety.”

He leadership from the organisations in developing a holistic prevention plan was a significant step forward.

 “Organisations who commit to the strategy will be working in practical ways to prevent violence and address gender inequality.”

But Ms Hendron said the initiative would not be a "one size fits all approach” with each program specially designed each organisation taking part.   

“They will consider their size, location, capacity and resources,” Ms Hendon said.

“Importantly, they will be supported by Women’s Health Grampians with expert advice, workplace training, leadership briefings and change management assistance.” 

Victorian Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaala Pulford will launch the strategy at Ballarat Specialist School FARM, 800 Norman Street, Invermay on Monday May 30