Male students and community members stepped up to become White Ribbon Day ambassadors last week .November 26, 2012 4:15am
Male students and community members stepped up to become White Ribbon Day ambassadors last week — promising never to commit or remain silent about violence against women.
In a ceremony organised by the Goulburn Valley Family Violence Prevention Network, Academy of Sport Health and Education students and six selected community members took the anti-violence oath at Shepparton’s Senior Citizens’ Hall on Wednesday ahead of White Ribbon day, which was yesterday.
GV Family Care men’s program leader Wayne Harris, who hosted Wednesday’s ceremony, said it sent an important signal to create positive attitudes and behaviours towards women.
‘‘It’s a problem in our community and it is rising,’’ Mr Harris said.
‘‘We are aware of it — and we are reporting it more, but it is still happening,’’ he said.
His views were backed up by Shepparton police Sergeant Ross Fifoot, a member of the newly-formed Designated Family Violence Unit, and one of the new White Ribbon ambassadors who took the oath on Wednesday.
‘‘We need to create awareness and change people’s attitudes and culture,’’ Sgt Fifoot said. He said police now had a ‘‘zero tolerance’’ policy towards family violence.
‘‘An assault at home is the same as an assault in the street,’’ he said.
He said Shepparton police’s family violence unit would concentrate on repeat offenders.
‘‘We find we are continually going to the same addresses — we are going after the recidivist perpetrators of violence,’’ he said.
Sgt Fifoot said reports of family violence in Shepparton doubled from 55 in October last year to 101 in the same month this year.
‘‘This is probably because of a rise in awareness and reporting, but also unfortunately there is also a rise in violence, too,’’ he said.
He said his unit was heading into the traditionally busy holiday period.
‘‘January is the peak month of the year for family violence — people spend more time at home and there are financial pressures after Christmas,’’ he said.
He said during the calendar year until January 2012 there were 551 reports of family violence in Shepparton.
‘‘But we know that 80 per cent is unreported, so you can work out how much is actually happening,’’ he said.
Other community members who took the White Ribbon oath on Wednesday were: City of Greater Shepparton councillor Michael Polan, solicitor Luke Slater, ASHE manager Phil Guthrie, UnitingCare Cutting Edge’s Diversity Project worker Damien Stevens and News journalist John Lewis.
The redevelopment of Shepparton Library, which will feature accessible shelving, a teen-specific area, a Skype booth and internet-enabled work stations, will be completed in the next two months.
The Ovens & Murray qualifying final between Yarrawonga and Lavington on Saturday left spectators talking more about the standard of umpiring than the two competing teams.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
The Kiss Angels, 50 Shades of Hope team have come up with a creative way of fundraising for the Relay for Life, a purple potty.
District hotels and businesses may change rosters with penalty rates for casual employees on Sundays set to be cut.
Students visit local businesses for reading lessons
Bottle thrown at Jason Cole in bitter aftermath to Seymour-Benalla game on Saturday.
A truck driver is lucky to be alive after crashing into a Jerilderie home yesterday morning.
Chef and co-owner of Heathcote’s Willow Room Brent Loam is thrilled with the listing in the 2015 Age Good Food Guide
Cobram kids learn about health with hospital as state-wide obesity campaign is launched.
TRUCKtalk magazine all the rage with local truck drivers.
A few anxious customers were outside the closed gates of the failed Bee-Jay Machinery business on Goulburn Valley Hwy in Shepparton on Tuesday morning, wondering what would become of deposits they had paid for tractors and other machinery.
An unknown sum of money was stolen from Benalla Golf Club this morning after thieves broke into its gaming room.
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