Donning white shirts, hundreds in Port Macquarie put their walking shoes for the White Ribbon Coastal Walk and to make a statement that violence is not accepted in our community.
Walking from Lighthouse Beach, Flynns Beach and Town Beach, to Town Green, walkers were in high spirits all morning.
At the walk’s start, Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams said she was happy so many had turned out in support of White Ribbon.
“I thank the domestic violence committee who put on this fantastic event and everyone for coming.
“This walk is about sending a very strong message to our community, that we will not tolerate domestic violence in our community.
“Well done to everyone who turned out to be a part of this message and after today we need to ensure that we continue to spread the message that domestic violence needs to be eliminated,” Mrs Williams said.
White Ribbon ambassador Peter Besseling said that it will take the whole community to see the eradication of domestic violence, and that it falls also to the men in our community to ensure violence does not spread.
“The strong turnout shows we are sending a really strong message to all the blokes out there to check ourselves and our attitudes towards women, and to make sure we are sending the right message to our sons and friends.
“We need to clearly send the message that violence towards women is unacceptable and that domestic violence is not acceptable.
“What people are part of today is something a lot broader, and it is something that needs to be talked about, because there is way too much of it happening, it is not right and we can put an end it it,” Mr Besseling said.
Ahlia Westaway-Griffiths, program and community education officer, for the Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Service, said the community event on Sunday was great.
“The White Ribbon Coastal Walk is a fantastic way for people living in domestic violence situations to see overwhelming community support, in such a positive way.
“Being in a violent situation is often very isolating and we have women come to us and say that people don’t or won’t take them seriously, but for them to see such a public display of support can be very beneficial.
“Often times women can be afraid that when they do make contact with someone they will be laughed at, so the event is a way to show women who may be in a domestic violence situation that there are people who are willing to listen when they find their voice, and are ready,” Ms Westaway-Griffiths said.