The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the sad reality that for many people home is not a safe place, and too many people are still living with family and domestic violence (FDV). It’s a message that will be the focal point of the 2020 Midland March That Matters (MMTM) in November.
The annual march is one of WA’s biggest domestic violence awareness events and up to 500 members of the public will join together to take a stand against domestic violence.
Beginning in 2013, the MMTM is led by not-for-profit support agencies, the Midland police, City of Swan, government departments and community representatives, to address domestic violence at a local level.
Relationships Australia WA Midland Manager and Chairperson for the North-East Metro Committee Kristy Darnborough said the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including lockdown, working remotely, social isolation or economic impacts, may compound or exacerbate FDV.
“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has, and will continue to have, significant ongoing consequences for many Western Australian families, including women and children already living with or at risk of violence and abuse,” she said.
“The committee are strong advocates for survivor safety and perpetrator accountability, and our collective voice continues to grow in strength not only for this event, but in promoting and advocating for ongoing societal change.”
Participants at the MMTM will carry banners and proceed along The Crescent to Great Eastern Highway before congregating at Juniper Gardens to hear from guest speakers. The march will be led by the WA Police Pipe Band and include performances, guest speakers, information stalls and a free sausage sizzle.
Guest speakers and performers will include acting Indigo Junction CEO Sharon Gough, Sargent Daniel Steinbeck from the Midland Police Family Violence Team, survivor and advocate Azelene Williams and singer-songwriter Natasha Eldridge.
City of Swan Mayor Kevin Bailey said the City is committed to working with community, police and service providers to address family and domestic violence.
"It's great to see so many people and organisations joining the cause, raising awareness and saying enough is enough," he said.
“The City of Swan has participated in the Midland March that Matters for seven years and we will continue to do what we can to raise awareness and show our support for victims of family and domestic violence.”
Mrs Darnborough said the annual march has grown over the years to include the co-operation of more than 16 local support agencies and organisations in Midland, working together toward a common goal.
“We have people from all walks of life involved in the march and having that sort of buy in across the community is incredibly important in tackling domestic violence head on.”
“But while initiatives like the MMTM are having a positive impact, domestic violence remains a prevalent community issue.
“We need to be able to continue to provide support to families and have the capacity to meet the inevitable increased demand for FDV services, to ensure that negative effects, on individuals, families and communities, are mitigated and managed.”
The North-East Metro DV Committee comprises of representatives from Relationships Australia WA, Midland Women’s Health Care Place, Centrecare, Koolkuna, City of Swan, Indigo Junction, WA Police, Rise Network, Department of Communities, MIDLAS, Essential Personnel, Event Cube, Vinnies, headspace Midland, St John of God Midland Hospital, Starick and community members.
When: Thursday 26nd of November, 2020
Time: 11.30am – 1.30pm
Where: Juniper Gardens (behind Midland Dome Cafe). Enter from The Crescent or Cale Street
What: March led by the WA Police Pipe band, followed by guest speakers, entertainment, information stalls and a free sausage sizzle.