Marching against abuse

Jewish participants in Melbourne’s Walk Against Family Violence.

ONE in three Australian women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by someone known to them.

On Friday, 10 Jewish communal organisations came together to take a stand against the statistic, joining in the Walk Against Family Violence as part of the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and White Ribbon Day.

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV), Jewish Care Victoria, Maccabi Victoria, Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV), Tzedek, Progressive Judaism Victoria, National Council of Jewish Women Australia, Unchain my Heart, Impact for Women, The Australian Jewish News and David Southwick MP formed the Jewish contingent which saw more than 1000 people converge upon Federation Square.

Rosie Batty addressed the gathering, demanding change from “each and every one of us”.

Batty has campaigned tirelessly against family violence following the death of her 11-year-old son, Luke, who was killed by his father in 2014.

She led the march from Federation Square as it weaved through the CBD, alongside Victorian Police Commissioner Ken Lay.

“It sends a powerful message to the community that family violence is not to be tolerated under any circumstances,” reflected Unchain my Heart chair, Susie Ivany.

Jewish Care Victoria CEO Bill Appleby described his “great pride” in walking alongside so many other Jewish organisation and community members.

“Too many women both within our community and beyond suffer physical and psychological violence by their intimate partners and husbands.

“We all need to take a stand on behalf of our women and our children in eliminating a world filled with violence and control,” Appleby said.

The sentiment was echoed by JCCV executive director, David Marlow. “We must ensure that we keep raising awareness, and address the gender equality and attitudinal concerns across the community,” he implored.

“The event was not about walking through the city – but ‘marching’ through the front door of every house across Australia and ensuring the message is heard loud and clear,” affirmed RCV immediate past president Rabbi Daniel Rabin.

“Everyone can play a part in stamping out violence against women and children and doing nothing is not an option,” he added.

If you or someone you know is a victim of family violence, contact Jewish Care Victoria Front Door on (03) 8517 5999.

REBECCA DAVIS