Coronavirus fears cancel domestic violence rally

Sexual Assault and Family Violence Centre chief executive officer Helen Bolton.

By Luke Voogt

Coronavirus fears have caused the cancellation of a rally against family violence tonight, organisers have announced.

Geelong’s Sexual Assault and Family Violence Centre issued a statement this afternoon that health authorities had advised them to call the event off.

“Following the latest advice from health authorities, we are sadly cancelling tonight’s event – Geelong says Enough,” the centre said.

“We are steadfast in our commitment to preventing family violence and will continue to share how the community can work together to prevent family violence and promote gender equality and respectful relationships.”

The centre had intended to hold the peaceful rally at 5.30pm in Johnstone Park in partnership Bethany Group and Geelong council, with support from Victoria Police.

“There has been a nation-wide feeling of grief, frustration, sadness and horror following the deaths as a result of family violence this year,” said Helen Bolton, the centre’s chief executive officer.

“We too share these feelings and sadly we know it’s all too common.

“This year, nine women have been murdered as a result of family violence, a statistic that we know will continue to rise, with an average of one woman a week murdered by her current or former partner.

“All violence is wrong, regardless of the sex of the victim or perpetrator.

“However, we know that the overwhelming majority of acts of family violence and sexual assault are perpetrated by men against women, and this violence is likely to have more severe impacts on female than male victims.

“We all need to come together as a community to prevent family violence – we can’t do it alone.”

Organisers urged anyone needing support for family violence to phone the centre on 5222 4318 or the Orange Door on 1800 312 820.

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