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Domestic Violence March For Change

Page 5 Castle Hill High Students Before The March For Change0 Domestic Violence March For Change

Hundreds of people from students to grandparents marched down Castle Street in Castle Hill in a March For Change on Friday, 3rd May as a community response to domestic violence against women.

The figures are grim. Last year NSW police responded to a domestic violence incident every 4 minutes. So far this year 28 women have been killed.

Students from Castle Hill High, Kellyville High and Oakhill College joined community members carrying placards and images of faceless women as they marked from Castle Towers. Students went to Castle Hill RSL for a talk about respectful relationships while community members marched to Castle Hill Bowling Club to hear from speakers including Hills Police Commander Supt Naomi Moore.

Both groups also got to see the confronting and powerful short film that Kellyville High school students produced based on the Love Bites program centering on relationships, violence and coercive control using professional actors in the roles. March organisers said they were encouraged by the students who got involved in the march.

Police Pollies And Proestors At The End Of The Walk Copy Domestic Violence March For Change

Dr Michelle Byrne said: “Having the high schools students present was powerful, at the end of the day if we are going to break the intergenerational cycle of domestic violence then we have to start with our youth and educate them early on what healthy and unhealthy relationships look like, potential red flags and where to go if they or someone they know is experiencing violence.“

“Nothing is going to change unless we make some noise and stand together united as a community advocating on behalf of those who have been silenced and to stand in support of those who have or who are currently experiencing DV. Domestic and family violence is a whole of community problem and it is only going to be resolved by all of us working together as one, with the police, the three levels of government and the service providers.

“This year already 28 women have lost their lives at the hands of a partner or former partner. That is 28 lives too many, all of them real people with friends and families who loved them and who now have to find a way to rebuild their lives without their loved one.”

Supt Moore said on Hills Police investigate eight domestic and family violence incidents on average every day.

She said: “We work with victims to make them feel safe. We have to empower victims to have the confidence to speak up and transition out of that violence.” She said figures showed that it can take 26 incidents before someone will seek help and urged family, friends, neighbours and friends to call it out.

Placards on the march said: Stop Normalising Abuse, No excuse for Abuse, 28 is Too Many, Stand Up and Speak Out, RESPECT. Michelle said: “The march was an opportunity to educate the community about our role in ending the violence and what we can do to help those around us or ourselves if we are experiencing violence.

Hills Domestic Violence Network Walking For Change Copy Domestic Violence March For Change

The Hills Police Commander summed it up well when she said if you are experiencing violence report it or if you know a family member or friend experiencing violence then also report it to the police, crime stoppers, the police assistance line or via the Empower you app.

“CHRG supported the event at its two venues, Castle Hill RSL and Castle Hill Bowling Club. Group Chief Operating Officer Andy Abey said: “If we want to see the dial shift, the community has to come together on the rollout of programs to engage, inform and influence better outcomes, and create enough groundswell in order to gain momentum for change.”

CHRG has provided around $50,000 in funding, through cash and in-kind support, which has helped to train more than 100 facilitators from the Hills, Hawkesbury, Hornsby and Paramatta local area police commands to conduct the Love Bites program about respectful relationships in local high schools.

Bryan Mullan said it was great to see so many young people on the march joined by members of the community taking a stand against gender-based violence.

“We learned that what is happening in some schools is addressing the causes of gender violence and teaching ways to avoid it. The support of the Castle Hill Police showed that they are working in the community to address this appalling problem.“

The Hills march for change will return to Castle Hill next year on 2 May 2025.

If you have concerns about family violence call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732). If you are in danger call 000. The free Empower You App designed by NSW Police can be downloaded for free from the App store and contains information about services and enables emergency messaging.Castle Hill High Students And Posters March Down Castle Street May 2 2024 Copy Domestic Violence March For Change

Page 5 Photo Marchers Down Castle Street Copy Domestic Violence March For Change

Bev Jordan

Bev Jordan studied journalism at Harlow College in the UK.  She achieves a Diploma in Journalism from the National Council for the Training of Journalists. After migrating to Australia at the end of 1984, she took up a Senior Journalist position with Cumberland Newspapers, based on the Parramatta Advertiser. She has since worked on the Daily Telegraph, Sydney Morning Herald and was a lecturer in Journalism at Macleay College in Sydney. Bev returned to Cumberland Newspapers (NewsLocal) and worked for 30 years covering all different mastheads, including Mosman Daily, Mount Druitt Standard and finally Hills Shire Times for the last 17 of those years. Bev’s passion has always been local community journalism.  She says “As a journalist, I have always seen it as my job to inform, inspire and involve.  I am a passionate advocate for organisations and people making a difference to the world around them. Connectedness is so important to the health of an individual but also to a community, no matter how small or large.

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