March to stop sexual violence

COMMUNITY awareness will be raised and power will be reclaimed tomorrow night.

Just ask Phoenix House social work student Debbie Pignatelli, who is part of a team organising the Bundaberg community in a candlelit march against domestic and sexual violence.

“It would shock people if they knew the prevalence of it,” Ms Pignatelli said, detailing that one in three boys and one in five girls are, or have been, victims of sexual violence, with disabled people “very much” at risk of becoming victims.

Reclaim the Night is an important part of Sexual Violence Awareness Month, which has been co-ordinated by Phoenix House each October for the past 14 years, and is a worldwide event aimed at raising awareness of sexual violence against women and children.

“In the last 12 months, it (sexual violence) has been pretty high on the political agenda,” Ms Pignatelli said.

She said the prime minister's wife, Therese Rein, was one person who had been outspoken about violence.

Today community members can show their support for the cause by signing the banner, this year designed by mental health community support organisation Bridges Clubhouse, which will be used in tomorrow night's march.

The banner can be signed in the CBD pavilion between 2pm and 6pm today.

The march departs the pavilion at 6pm tomorrow, proceeding through the city and ending at the pavilion for a ceremony and entertainment.

Former Phoenix House employee Jo Payne has written a song named after this year's theme, No More Violence, No More Silence, which she will perform.

Reclaim the Night • Sign the banner today between 2pm and 6pm • Join the CBD candle-lit march tomorrow at 6pm • Raffles, food, refreshments and entertainment will be available • Telephone 4153 4299

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