Central Coast Council is once again working with community leaders to initiate important conversations around domestic and family violence.
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence campaign runs every year from 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) to 10 December (Human Rights Day) raising awareness and educating the community on this important issue.
The Central Coast consistently has one of the highest number of incidences of family and domestic violence compared to any other local government area*.
Council Director Community and Recreation Services, Melanie Smith said Council is committed to working with community to solve a range of social and health issues that impact vulnerable people, such as victims of domestic violence.
“The health and safety of others is everyone’s business. Domestic abuse is not just a private matter and its impacts are felt across all levels of the community,” Ms Smith said.
“Domestic and family violence is one of the largest threats to our communities’ safety. Prevention initiatives are proven to help stop the violence before it starts.
“We have been working with the community, local leaders and organisations to develop a range of programs, projects and activities in support of the national campaign to help strengthen our community.”
Throughout the 16-day campaign a number of activities have been organised to create awareness on this important issue, including Council’s annual support of the Central Coast Domestic Violence Committee’s ‘Walk Against Domestic Violence’.
Starting at 10am on Wednesday 6 December, supporters are encouraged to wear an orange shirt for the walk beginning at Gosford Anglican Church (7 Mann Street) and finishing in Kibble Park Gosford. The event in Kibble Park will showcase guest speakers, live entertainment, information stalls and more.
Visitors to Kibble Park will see art installations during the campaign such as houses suspended in trees representing that a home should be a safe place and a Zonta Tree Yarn Bombing highlighting all the different forms of domestic violence and the support available for victims and bystanders.
Council is also developing a children’s story book which aims to promote age-appropriate messages to preschoolers about healthy relationships. The book will be launched in May 2024 as part of Domestic Violence Month, and a special preview of pages will be on show in Kibble Park.
Council’s Administrator, Rik Hart encourages the community to get behind the campaign and show their support at Kibble Park during the 16-day campaign.
“We must all speak up against family and domestic violence and encourage others to break the cycle in order to make the Central Coast a safe place for everyone,” Mr Hart said.
“We can all play a role in stopping violence by taking action if we see or suspect any form of abuse. It can be as simple as providing contact numbers, educational material or when someone’s safety is at risk, report it to the Police.”
Find out more on the community events by visiting centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/16days or find out what help is available in the community by searching ‘family violence’ on Council’s website.*Statistics show the Central Coast had the third-highest number of domestic violence related incidences in NSW (BOSCAR period June 2022 – 2023). We are also consistently over-represented in statistics for Breach of Apprehended Violence Order.