Council commits to preventing family violence
Published on 31 March 2020
Gannawarra Shire Council has formally committed to continuing to take a leadership role in preventing family violence within the community by adopting a Preventing Family Violence Statement of Commitment.
The five-sentence statement acknowledges that family violence is prevalent across the Gannawarra Shire and articulates Council’s commitment to working in its own organisation and in partnership with others to end violence against women.
Mayor Lorraine Learmonth said that Council has taken a strong leadership role on family violence and works in close partnership locally and regionally to increase understanding and recognition of family violence, improve responses and ensure appropriate referral of women and their children.
“Council recognises that while any person can be a victim or perpetrator of violence, violence is predominantly perpetrated by men, and in family violence situations, women are predominantly the victims,” Mayor Learmonth said.
“Council understands that the underlying drivers of violence against women are gender inequality, rigid gender stereotypes and cultures that accept or encourage violence.
“Promoting gender equality and respectful and non-violent relationships benefits the whole community, including men.”
Gannawarra Shire has experienced a substantial increase in the rate of family incidents over the past five years (per 100,000 population) recorded by VicPolice – 1,385.7 incidents in 2014/2015 compared to 2,564.4 incidents in 2018/2019. This equates to a 54 per cent increase.
“Having just one woman impacted by family violence is unacceptable and Council has committed to continuing to lead the way to end violence against women,” Mayor Learmonth said.
“This will be done by working in partnership to create communities, organisations and cultures that are non-violent, gender equitable, non-discriminatory, and that promote respectful relationships.
“The Statement of Commitment provides a commitment that the underlying drivers of violence against women will be addressed so as to create a safer community for all.”
The Preventing Family Violence Statement of Commitment reflects the wording of a plaque on display in the customer service foyer of Council’s Kerang Customer Service Centre.
ABOVE: Gannawarra Shire Council's Preventing Family Violence Statement of Commitment reflects the wording of a plaque on display in the customer service foyer of Council’s Kerang Customer Service Centre.