Facing the horrors of violence

A “SHOCKING” play performed on Tuesday highlighted the horrors of violence against women and provoked thoughts and discussion about ways the community can prevent it.

A special performance of ‘The Boys’ on White Ribbon Day drew 180 people to the Latrobe Performing Arts Centre in Traralgon, which also served as the launch of an ambassador network.

White Ribbon Day ambassador and host David Elder said the night began with fingerfood and conversations before a man spoke about bystander training.

“Bystander training is a form of training that can be done in workplaces and community groups for people who see or hear anything (that suggests violence is occurring) and equips them with tools to intervene,” Mr Elder said.

He said after the play the whole audience swore the white ribbon day oath: “I swear never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women”.

“The play was incredibly thought-provoking. It was shocking,” Mr Elder said.

“The acting was fantastic and it was done by locals.”

Mr Elder said quite a few people stayed after the play to chat with cast and crew, not only about the play, but the issues.

Fellow ambassador Alan Wilson also launched the Gippsland White Ribbon Supporters Network, which he hoped could join all the ambassadors in Gippsland.

“It would bring people together who have already signed up to the cause, just so we can get some better coordination and collaboration about what’s going on in each of the local government areas around Gippsland… and assist where we can,” Mr Wilson said.

He said workplaces or community groups organising White Ribbon Day events could find it difficult to locate local ambassadors to attend because there was no collated, localised list.

Mr Wilson said he hoped the network could be established early next year along with a Gippsland White Ribbon committee.

For more information about undertaking bystander training at your workplace phone Quantum Support Services on 5120 2000.

To find out more about White Ribbon workplace accreditation or to register your interest to join the network, visit whiteribbon.org.au