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As the Clarence Valley community unites in saying no to domestic violence, two vehicles from the local Grafton Busways fleet, pictured with Regional Operations Support Manager Wayne Humphreys, will feature a special message to raise awareness throughout the local area. Image: contributed.

Raising community awareness of domestic and family violence

Emma Pritchard

There is a very important message being circulated throughout the Clarence Valley.

Say no to domestic violence.

For 16 days, a global campaign will run from November 25 until December 10 to raise awareness of the devastation and serious impacts caused by domestic and family violence and to encourage communities to support each other and engage in more conversations surrounding its prevalence.

The campaign coincides with International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and International Human Rights Day respectively.

To raise local awareness of the campaign, representatives from several organisations throughout the area have united to form the Clarence Valley Domestic and Family Violence Committee.
Vice chairperson of the committee Gayle Ackers said it is important to make people aware of the serious nature of domestic and family violence and to say no to it.

“It is a prevalent crime in Australia and we want to raise awareness of that,” she said.

The committee is circulating posters featuring artworks by local high school students who have recently participated in the Love Bites program, which educates youths on respectful relationships, to encourage the community to come together and say no to domestic and family violence.

In choosing the artworks, Ms Ackers said the committee hopes to raise further awareness of the impact domestic violence has on young people and families.

To further promote the message behind the global campaign locally, the committee has also used generous donations from Grafton District Services Club, Yamba Bowling and Recreation Club and Maclean Bowling Club to have two vehicles from the Busways Grafton fleet display a special livery as they travel along their usual routes in Yamba and Grafton.

A spokesperson from Busways said, “we actively support the say no to domestic violence message by spreading this across our fleet, amongst our team and via our social media.”

The Clarence Valley Domestic and Family Violence Committee will have a strong community presence during the next 16 days.

On November 29, they will hold an all-day barbeque at Grafton Bunnings and on December 4, a free breakfast and coffee will be available from the 1851 coffee van from 6:30am outside the Clarence Regional Library where the artworks by local students will also be on display.

“We aim to encourage people to have conversations with work colleagues, family and friends about domestic violence and how we can put a stop to it,” Ms Ackers said.
“Everyone needs to say it’s not ok.”

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