The Cobar Services Club hosted a White Ribbon Day event last Wednesday to raise awareness of the growing increase of violence against women.
The event featured a range of local speakers as well as special guest Gary Eaton who outlined the ‘100 Alice Stories’ project.
Mr Eaton and his wife Kellie Mills from Mills-Eaton Training created the ‘100 Alice Stories’ project to help women who have been victims of violence perpetrated by men.
(Ms Mills was to have also attended the event however was unable due to an injury and Mr Eaton spoke in her absence.)
Mr Eaton said his wife had been inspired to do something about violence against women having grown up with it in her own family.
“It didn’t break her, it only made her stronger,” Mr Eaton said.
For many years Ms Mills didn’t talk about what she experienced until she met other women who had similar stories to tell.
Ms Mills and Mr Eaton have been compiling women’s survival stories and plan to incorporate them into a ‘100 Alice Stories’ book.
They hope to distribute the book to doctors’ surgery waiting rooms, child care centres, Centrelink offices, hairdressers and anywhere it can be accessed by women who may be experiencing violence.
“If we were to save just one life, that would make the project all worthwhile,” Mr Eaton said.
He then briefly outlined some of the survivors’ stories and said while for many it had been a difficult experiene, they now felt empowered after telling their stories.
The event was organised by Alanna Josephson and staff from the Centacare Cobar office with Mrs Josephson speaking about the services Centacare can offer.
Other local speakers included staff from Interrelate and Chris Higgins from Peak Gold Mine, a local supporter of White Ribbon Day.
“One in three women experience violence after the age of 15,” Mrs Josephson said.
“Most men aren’t violent, but most violence against women is perpetrated by men.”
All speakers encouraged any women who are victims of domestic and family violence to seek help and also urged anyone who witnesses violence against women to speak out.