Protesters will march through Central Maitland on Friday, December 1 with one thing on their minds - raising awareness about the city's rising level of domestic violence.
Hosted by the combined Rotary Clubs of Maitland, marchers will set off from Maitland Court House at 1pm and walk through The Levee precinct in solidarity with victims of domestic violence.
The march will finish at the Maitland Administration Centre, where guest speakers from NSW Police and Carrie's Place will address the crowd.
It is the first time the city's Rotary clubs have hosted a march for domestic violence, and organiser Christine Walmsley, who is the Rotary District area governor, said she hopes the wider community will come along and show their support.
"The march is a result of a Memorandum of Understanding between NSW Police and the five Rotary districts in NSW to develop awareness of domestic violence and further support victims of domestic violence," Ms Walmsley said.
"The march is the first step in this partnership."
According to leading prevention of domestic violence in Australia organisation Our Watch, on average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner.
Our Watch also says two in five women have experienced violence since the age of 15, and in the year 2021/22, 5606 or 15 women per day were hospitalised due to family and domestic violence.
The Rotary Clubs of Maitland Sunrise, Maitland, East Maitland, Green Hills, Rutherford Telarah and the Rotaract Club of Maitland have joined forces for the march.
Ms Walmsley said she hopes the march will increase awareness about domestic violence in Maitland.
"From this initial event, Rotary Clubs will further investigate their connections with agencies that support domestic violence victims on how we can better support their goals in addressing this issue in our community," she said.
"We are also investigating education programs for high school students."
In other news:
The march is a part of Rotary Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island's day of action, which encourages clubs to advocate against domestic violence.
Ms Walmsley said Rotary has a history of supporting domestic violence through donation of funds, clothing, food hampers and hygiene products.
"This project is an opportunity for Rotary Clubs to enhance their support, build stronger connections with community aid organisations and the delivery of education programs," she said.
The march will be attended by NSW Police, staff from Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison's office, staff from Carrie's Place and other organisations that support domestic violence victims.
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