Over the last year, 69 women have died in Australia as a result of domestic violence.
To acknowledge these lives, those marching in Bega’s Walk Against Violence held 69 coloured crosses to remember every one of the women killed.
On Thursday, the march finished in Littleton Gardens where the 50-member crowd made a minute’s noise to signify not remaining silent about violence at home.
There, Staying Home Leaving Violence program manager Caroline Long read out the names of the women killed in the last year, including 20-year-old Chelsea killed on November 11, 46-year-old Michelle killed on April 4 and 80-year-old Elizabeth killed on June 27.
Ms Long said best way to prevent domestic violence was to teach children about respect.
“Also, if you’re feeling like your relationship is not well, get help early, men and women,” she said.
One of the marchers was domestic violence survivor Caroyln McCaffery of Merimbula.
She said it was only three days after she married her husband that he began to physically assault her and on March 16, he deliberately set fire to their Eden home.
It was her 19-year-old son who encouraged her to leave her husband. She said he, the police and Ms Long’s organisation Staying Home Leaving Violence were a “tower of strength” for her during that time.
“I was going to be one of those women,” she said, pointing to the 69 coloured crosses.
“Why did I stay? I loved the man, but I didn’t love the violence or behaviour.”
Another marcher was Sylvie Mester, who was involved with the Southern Women’s Group when it was setting up a women’s refuge in the Bega Valley in 1985.
The refuge was used “quite a lot” during the ’80s.
Even though over 30 years have passed since then, she did not think attitudes to domestic violence had changed over that time.
Now people are more aware of it, but I don’t think people have changed enough for there to be no or less domestic violence.- Sylvie Mester
“Now people are more aware of it, but I don’t think people have changed enough for there to be no or less domestic violence,” Ms Mester said.
“Women and children still need to get away.
“I think some women accept violence as part of normal behaviour and the main thing that needs to be done is educate men as to what is acceptable.”
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