Hundreds of people gathered in Ballarat on Monday morning calling for justice.
While the majority of those in attendance were women of varying ages, men were also dotted through the crowd gathered at Alfred Deakin Place.
March 4 Justice Ballarat was organised by the Ballarat Community Alliance, Trades Hall Ballarat and Loud Fence.
"I'm angry that you are all like me and that we are all still having this conversation. Whether that as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse being told all the ways how to avoid being raped, dealing with sexual harassment at work or being threatened or assaulted, too scared to walk in your own neighbourhood at night or dealing with violence in your own home," Ange Elson said when opening the event.
"The sting of not being believed, being dismissed, bumping up against systems that don't deliver accountability and justice. I want you to know that we see you. We hear you and we believe you all."
Those in attendance listened to powerful speeches from Indigenous speakers, members of the LGBTQIA+ community to victim-survivors and women who counsel survivors - all with the message that "enough is enough".
The gathering was one of dozens all around Australia, including outside Parliament House, for the community to raise their voices about the impact of sexual assault and call for equality, safety and demand justice.
The events were organised following allegations of rape and sexual assault involving members of federal Parliament and staff.
Patty has worked for Ballarat's Centre Against Sexual Assault since 2006 and spoke to the crowd about her work.
"Sexual assault is a crime of power and control. Disclosing it is difficult and for some, impossible. It occurs across a continuum from sexual harassment to violent rape. It all has an impact and it's all a crime.
"Sexual assault can have short, medium and long term significant impacts on the victim-survivor and their families - economic, physical and mental health, relationships, education, suicide ideation and completed suicides."
She said the male and female experience of safety, sense of being safe and being responsible for keeping themselves safe was different.
All females have the right to be safe and feel safe at work, at a friend's house, within families, on the street, in hospital, seeking professional assistance, travelling public transport, at school, at a sporting event, walking from the theatre to your car, at an entertainment venue, a place of worship and in their own home.Patty
"We are here to challenge that reality that all people identifying as female cannot raise their hand and say 'I have never experienced the fear of being sexually assaulted or have never been sexually assaulted or harassed.
"All females have the right to be safe and feel safe at work, at a friend's house, within families, on the street, in hospital, seeking professional assistance, travelling public transport, at school, at a sporting event, walking from the theatre to your car, at an entertainment venue, a place of worship and in their own home."
Executive officer of WRISC family violence support, Libby Jewson, demanded safety and justice.
"We all have to work together. Use your voices in all places to demand safety, equality and justice. We've all had enough and we can all do something about it."
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Deb Milera, an Aboriginal woman, said her people had been facing injustices since 1788 - damaging injustices including assimilation, segregation and genocide - but they had survived.
"I have a grandson who I hope and pray will not face the injustices the people before me and that I and my daughters face.
"The only way we do it is by standing together and uniting. We can't wait for governments... to make change, we have to do it together by forming relationships and standing strong and saying 'no, enough is enough."
She added that men were a big part in making changes.
"Men have to be a part of it - they have to walk beside us and not in front of us anymore," she said, encouraging those in power to be brave enough to take those involved on the journey to change.
Maggie, speaking with other representatives of Loud Fence, said the COVID-19 pandemic had proven how quickly governments could make changes and called for immediate action.
Maureen Hatcher said victim-survivors had been silenced by perpetrators, organisations, institutions, the court system and even the community.
"The community doesn't always want to know the truth. If they can't even handle seeing ribbons on a fence, how can they possibly listen to our stories?
"But we won't be silenced anymore. We have a voice - so you can cut down ribbons but you can't stop us speaking. Loud justice now."
Liana Skewes attended in a small group and said she did so due to "lots of anger".
"So many things have happened in the last fortnight that it gets to the point that you're not saying 'enough is enough' but 'enough is enough is enough is enough'. It just becomes this string of embers that you just sit there burning.
"There is this low key anger all of the time for women that are being murdered. There are multiple [allegations] involving federal parliament and nothing is being done."
Daisy Kate Kennington added that every female-identifying person she knows is either terrified of sexual assault, knows somebody who has been sexually assaulted or has been themselves.
"It is something that is tiring, scary and heartbreaking.
"We need to keep going, get louder and be more proactive because being complicit is not acceptable anymore."
Ms Skewes said it was important for her to attend as someone who is strong enough to.
"It's important to be here when you have the strength to because not everybody does.
"It's not a judgement if you don't come but you should stand if you can because some people can't. You have to stand strong so people know that even if they don't get justice they at least have a community that will love, support them and protect them."
Carolyn Vasey also attended with her young daughter, Maisie, who was holding a sign that read "keep me safe", which she decorated with glitter and stickers.
"Appalled" by the allegations surrounding Parliament House and the Morrison government's response, she said Grace Tame being appointed Australian of the Year and Brittany Higgins speaking out had created noise around these issues, which she hopes means her children will grow up in a better world.
A surgeon working in a male-dominated profession, Dr Vasey said the number of women in her profession had remained stagnant around 10 per cent.
"It creates a monoculture where the truth is often suppressed."
Speaking not only about her profession but about every workplace, she said gender balance in positions of power was key to creating change.
"Diversity across gender and culture is important so that people have a voice and a safe environment to work in."
With a two-year-old son, four-year-old daughter and another child on the way, she believes it is equally important to teach both her son and daughter about respect and consent.
Calls for change
President of Ballarat Trades Hall, Cassia Drever-Smith, said women had been "fighting this fight" for hundreds of years and those who should be listening were not.
"We're not just angry about the allegations, we are angry because our mothers and our grandmothers were fighting this same fight 50 years ago.
"This crisis has been ignored for far, far too long. Those who have been elected to govern us have looked the other way far too many times."
She was fiercely critical of the Morrison government, expressing that with "so little respect for women and commitment to equality and justice" that they did not deserve to be in government.
The March 4 Justice prepared a list of demands to not only address the "toxic culture" in Parliament but demands that will "start us on the path for justice for all women".
These include independent investigations into all cases of gendered violence in Parliaments, MP codes of conduct that require mandatory sexual harassment training for all parliamentarians and their staff and the enactment of a federal gender equality act to promote equality and respect in Australia.
The demands also include increasing public funding for gendered violence prevention to the world's best practice standards and for all parliaments to be gender equal by 2030.
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