Cessnock Chamber of Commerce and BPW Cessnock have joined forces to host their fourth annual White Ribbon breakfast.
November is White Ribbon Month, supporting the male-led campaign to prevent men’s violence against women.
About 70 people attended the breakfast at Cessnock Leagues Club on Tuesday, including local business people, school students and teachers, police officers and corrective services representatives.
Cessnock Mayor Bob Pynsent, who is a White Ribbon ambassador, invited all of the men and boys in the room to take the White Ribbon oath to “stand up, speak out and act to prevent men's violence against women”.
Chamber president Geoff Walker said domestic violence needs to be talked about every day, not just one day of the year.
“It’s a change we all need to make in our lives and a message that needs to be sent loudly and clearly,” he said.
BPW Cessnock president Sheila Turnbull said the worldwide movement has the aim of taking action for women’s equality.
“Because we condemn domestic violence, BPW looks on this event as having the power to make a difference,” she said.
Carrie’s Place Domestic Violence and Homelessness Services CEO Jan McDonald gave a presentation on the range of services the organisation provides.
She said the amount of women dying from domestic violence – 65 in Australia this year – is a “sad and chilling tale”.
Ms McDonald said domestic violence will lead many women and children on a route to homelessness and poverty, and that it is important to acknowledge that domestic violence happens in all socio-economic demographics and cultural areas.
The chamber also presented a $250 donation to Cessnock refuge Jodie’s Place from funds raised at the Cessnock Customer Service Awards in September.
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