Gunnedah Family Support has welcomed funding to bring greater awareness of domestic violence into the community.
On Friday, Tamworth Kevin Anderson announced $17,000 in government funding for Gunnedah Shire Council to “drive out” domestic violence and bullying.
Mr Anderson said the council would use the funds to “promote zero tolerance” through banners on the main street and advertising on street sweepers and garbage trucks.
Gunnedah Family Support chief executive officer Veronica Rodenburg said any initiatives that invested in preventative action were positive.
“Gunnedah Family Support staff are seeing the results of domestic and family violence every day – bruised, shaking, traumatised and ashamed women, who are also trying to raise their children with no money & nowhere to escape,” she said.
“It’s just putting the message out there that [domestic violence] is wrong, that it’s a scourge on our community and those sorts of message need to be around us all the time.
“They’re subtle every day messages that need to be in the community and they’ll be filtered as they’re seen.”
Ms Rodenburg said the banners could also potentially help victims of domestic violence.
“It might actually trigger the message to get help earlier than they might have otherwise,” she said.
Mr Anderson said using community vehicles to display the message was a good way to get the word out.
“Everyone gets their rubbish collected so what better way to ensure the message reaches all corners of the community,” he said.
Gunnedah shire mayor Jamie Chaffey said the campaign was an initiative of the Gunnedah Crime Prevention Working Group and was supported by the Gunnedah Community Action Team, which “aims to encourage our community to speak up and to speak out”, a message, which is also key for those experiencing bullying.
Gunnedah Family Support provides housing options and support services for women and their children living with or escaping domestic and family violence. The organisation supports many initiatives during the year to keep the anti-violence message alive.