PEOPLE in the Wimmera are encouraged to stop work and walk together against violence on Friday.
The Walk Against Violence starts at 12.30pm at the Horsham Aquatic Centre car park, proceeding along Firebrace Street before ending at May Park for speeches and a barbecue.
Sexual Assault and Family Violence Centre Horsham co-ordinator Jo-Anne Bates said the walk provided an opportunity to recognise that family violence happened in the Wimmera and to encourage people to come forward.
"It's a way to physically show that the whole community is united in wanting to end violence," she said.
Ms Bates said the group had given posters to businesses and schools had put notices in their newsletters about the walk.
The group was formerly known as Wimmera White Ribbon, but following the organisation's closure they have changed their name - to be announced on Friday, along with the names of five new ambassadors.
Committee chairman Geoff Miller said the group was never dependent on the national organisation and has always been responsible for setting its own priorities and direction.
"While the focus of the Wimmera committee has always been on awareness raising and addressing the root causes of male violence, the group has generated funds from donations," he said.
"Any funds donated locally have been used for local initiatives supporting those experiencing family violence and to projects which contribute to eliminating this significant problem. This practice will continue."
Mr Miller said money raised had contributed to improving security and providing hygiene packs for women and children fleeing family violence.
Asked about gaps in support for victims of violence, Uniting Wimmera's Kristy Martin, also a committee member, said services worked together better than in the past.
Mr Miller said the group expected strong attendance at the Horsham walk - especially from schools.
"It is fantastic to see a high level of interest from schools" he said. "Young people hold the key to violence not happening in the future."
He said a single piper, Dave McMaster, would lead the walk.
In Stawell, a Walk Against Violence on Friday starts at the corner of Patrick and Main streets at 4pm and finishes with a barbecue at Stawell Neighbourhood House.
To mark the change following the closure of White Ribbon, participants in the walk were asked to wear orange as a sign of solidarity with The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
Grampians Community Health family violence specialist Naomi Lovell, a committee member of the Stawell event, said the walk helped enhance people's understanding of the issue.
"Grampians Community Health's family violence team supported over 600 people affected by family violence during the past financial year," she said.
- If you or anyone you know needs help, contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 737 732.
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