A large delegation from the Sharks NRL and 20’s squads, along with Sharks staff took to the streets last Friday to signal their commitment to ending domestic violence.
The hazy and windy conditions didn’t hamper the resolve of all those attending the annual Sutherland Shire Walk Against Domestic Violence, with over 1,000 school students from local primary and high schools, community members and businesses showing up to take a stand and walk the walk in the ongoing effort to curb domestic violence in the Shire.
The crowd, taking steps to raise awareness and start conversations surrounding domestic abuse walked from Don Lucas Reserve, Wanda to Dunningham Park, Cronulla – cheered along the way by vocal supporters. Following the walk, the gathering heard from Sutherland Shire Mayor Carmelo Pesce, local member and NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman and Prime Minister Scott Morrison via a pre-recorded message of support.
The message was uniform across the speeches – the rates of violence in our community are too high, domestic abuse can happen to anyone and spousal, domestic and family abuse is everybody’s business.
In figures released by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research earlier this year, between June 2018 and June 2019 there were 30,434 domestic violence related assaults in NSW alone, with 562 of these offences taking place in the Sutherland Shire area.
While domestic violence can and does affect everyone, rates of violence against women are still disproportionately high. These shocking figures are only the reported incidents, highlighting the need for local leaders such as the Sharks to do their part to lower the statistics, raise awareness and change attitudes and behaviours.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic or family violence, the below resources are available:
NSW Domestic Violence Line, Community Care & Counselling: 1800 656 463
1800 RESPECT National Helpline: 1800 737 732
Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277
In an emergency, always dial 000.