Various local service groups met at the Goulburn Soldiers Club for the second annual White Ribbon dinner on November 27.
Attendees came from the three Rotary clubs in Goulburn, the Goulburn Soroptimists, the Goulburn City Lions, the Goulburn District Cricket Association, the Mulwaree CWA, and the Zonta and Quota clubs.
ACT Woman of the Year 2017, and executive director of Karinya House, Marie-Louise Corkhill was the special guest speaker.
Karinya House is home to pregnant women and women with babies who have found themselves in crisis, commonly due to domestic violence (DV), from the ACT and nearby NSW.
Ms Corkhill has been with Karinya House for 20 years. She related some typical scenarios her organisation faces daily in providing sanctuary and support for these women and families in crisis.
The aim is to rebuild women’s self-confidence, independence and life in a safe and supportive environment so they may return to the community with a good chance for a brighter future.
Hume LAC Detective Inspector Chad Gillies introduced the new, additional DV Liaison Officer, Senior Constable Kathy Madden.
Inspector Gillies gave an insight to the NSW Police approach to DV, noting that serial offenders are under constant surveillance for compliance with AVOs and community behaviour.
Insp Gillies also noted he had seen change over the years from DV being just another ‘domestic’ to now being a crime. The community would not tolerate DV and sexual assault against women and children in the home and police would deal with the offenders.
The other change is in relation to support for victims.
In the past, the offences were largely unreported due to intimidation of the victims and community embarrassment, but now with two DV Liaison Officers in the Hume LAC, victims are getting much more support through the process of escaping DV with their family.
Goulburn Mulwaree Rotary president Bill Brodie said it was the whole community’s responsibility to report DV, support victims they saw or knew, or to have a serious talk to any perpetrators they knew, to encourage those perpetrators to seek help in anger management and lifestyle changes to bring their issues to an end.
Mr Brodie led the meeting in the White Ribbon oath: ‘I will stand up, speak out and act to prevent domestic violence against women.’
A door prize raised $335 plus a donation from Goulburn CWA of $100 for the White Ribbon organisation.
Mr Brodie presented a donation of $500 to Ms Corkhill for Karinya House and thanked all present.