By Steph McNicol
A CAMPAIGN by Romsey and Lancefield residents will aim to prevent family violence and promote healthy and respectful behaviour.
The Stand Together Campaign, facilitated by Swinburne University and supported by Cobaw Community Health, will focus on community mental health and wellbeing.
People are invited to participate in the campaign, and show their support for people experiencing family violence, by taking a photo of themselves holding a sign showing what they believe in.
Cobaw’s health promotion team leader Lauren Tyrrell said the pandemic meant people could not gather to show their support for victims and survivors.
“While we have been unable to gather together physically as a community during the COVID-19 pandemic, this campaign was developed as a way for community members to ‘stand together’ virtually to say no to family violence in their communities,” she said.
“Family violence is a social issue which has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Preventing family violence is a shared responsibility across the community.
“Primary prevention campaigns, such as this one, recognise that we all have a role to play in modelling healthy respectful behaviours in our day to day lives.
“Challenging the condoning of violence, challenging rigid gender stereotypes, and normalising gender equality can all help to stop violence before it starts.”
Ms Tyrrell said people were encouraged to get involved with the campaign to show their support.
“Members of the Lancefield and Romsey communities are invited to participate in the campaign by taking a photo of themselves holding a sign showing what they stand for or what they will do when it comes to making their communities safe, respectful and supportive places to live,” she said.
“They can send their photo to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and if they like they can share it on their own social media to encourage others they know in the community to get on board.
“At the end of the campaign the photos will be displayed in a roving exhibition through Romsey and Lancefield and published in an ad in the local paper to coincide with the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence from November 25 and December 10.
“Similar projects conducted elsewhere have found that it can be really powerful for people to see local faces that they know, particularly if they are influential in the community, publically standing up or speaking out against family violence.
“We hope to get as many community members standing together as we can to show their support for this issue.”