Unite to end family violence

United front: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten linked arms at the No More event. Photo: ANDREW MEARES

United front: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten linked arms at the No More event. Photo: ANDREW MEARES

The Dubbo Violence Prevention Collective will spend the week revitalising in-need White Ribbon anti-violence step signs as Australia marks 16 days of activism against gender violence.

It comes as federal MPs gathered at parliament house on Monday for a cause that transcends party lines.

In a rare display of unity, government and opposition MPs linked arms to demand an end to family violence in Indigenous communities.

The ceremony was the biggest achievement so far for the No More campaign, led by Gurindji journalist Charlie King.

With indigenous women 34 times more likely than non Indigenous women to be hospitalised as a result of family violence, No More encourages people to stand up to the men responsible.

Member for Parkes Mark Coulton was unable to attend the ceremony, but said it sent an important message.

“It was recognising the issues around domestic violence in Aboriginal communities, and a pledge by men in those communities that it won’t be tolerated,” Mr Coulton said.

“The linking of arms demonstrated a solidarity in that...recognising that it’s not acceptable and using peer pressure to reduce the levels of domestic violence in our communities.”

The Parkes electorate is home to the state’s top three hot spots for the crime, according to the NSW Bureau of Crime Research and Statistics: Walgett (with a rate of domestic violence-related assaults 6.17 times the state average), Moree Plains (5.07 times the state average) and Coonamble (4.27 times).

Mr Coulton also represents the communities of Dubbo (ranked 14th), Bogan (eighth), Broken Hill (ninth), Cobar (seventh), and Narromine (13th).

”Unfortunately last year my part of the world was recorded as having a higher than average level of domestic violence,” Mr Coulton said.

“The government put funding into the Western NSW Community Legal Centre and so they’re now offering...legal advice, personal counselling, financial advice and employment advice to...help [victims] to become more independent.”

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