Call to stand against violence

WWYW Geelong rally organiser Rachel Sumich-Antonik. (Ivan Kemp) 403211_01

Geelong community members have the opportunity to express their opposition to violence at a rally in the Geelong CBD this weekend.

In the wake of increasing amounts of violent incidents in Australia, in particular male violence against women, Indigenous-led advocacy group What Were You Wearing has announced a series of rallies across the country to take a stand against gendered violence.

The rallies will take place over this weekend, with the Geelong rally starting at 11am at Market Square Mall on Sunday, April 28.

Rachel Sumich-Antonik, one of the Geelong rally’s organisers, said the choice to hold the event at Market Square Mall was a deliberate one.

“We’ve chosen to meet in an area which is known for not being a safe space,” Ms Sumich-Antonik said.

“So we’re going to turn that into a space of love, compassion, understanding and call to action.”

She said collective action was essential to address the pressing issue of violence that disproportionately impacts women, queer, disabled and Indigenous people.

The rally will involve brief speeches before participants begin a slow march around the area.

“We are encouraging everyone to wear orange, so get funky with that,” Ms Sumich-Antonik said.

“The walk will be very short, but we’re going to go very slowly.

“We will have police supporting us and walking with us, and there will be support services.”

Ms Sumich-Antonik, herself a survivor of rape and other violence herself, said it was important people looked after their mental health if they chose to attend.

“We really, really encourage everyone to be very aware of their own well-being and their own needs, because…it is a difficult subject,” she said.

“People need to take care of themselves, and if you decide it’s too triggering to come there are other ways to support us.”

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