Join the stand against domestic violence

02 September 2016

Inspiring domestic violence survivor and campaigner Dr Ann O’Neill will be the keynote speaker at the Border’s White Ribbon Ball in November.

In 1994, Dr O’Neill’s estranged husband broke into her house and killed their two sleeping children Kyle, 6, and Latisha, 4. He shot her, leaving an injury that required her leg to be amputated.

A tireless advocate for victims of crime, Dr O’Neill is now a health and social worker and helps businesses and organisations to change culture, motivate staff and better understand the needs of victims of crime.

Significant increases in family violence on the Border in recent years prompted local police, AlburyCity and Wodonga Council to join forces to last year hold the inaugural White Ribbon Ball.

Last year’s ball in Wodonga attracted 200 people and raised $25,000, which was invested back into the community through the Prevention of Violence against Women Grants program.

Tickets are now on sale for this year’s White Ribbon Ball on 12 November to raise awareness of domestic violence in our community and raise vital funds to help prevent it.

Albury Police Chief Detective Inspector David Cottee said a life free of violence is a basic human right.  “With one in three women being the victim of physical or sexual violence in their lifetime it is obvious that we have work to do as men in changing culture and attitudes and as police in responding to reports of domestic violence in a professional manner,” he said.

Wodonga Police Sergeant Shane Martin said: “The White Ribbon Ball continues on from the inroads we have made over the last couple of years around raising awareness and educating men in our community about this local issue. The support from local sporting leagues, businesses and other community groups shows the value of hosting such events.  Albury Wodonga is attracting high-calibre individuals like Victoria Cross recipient Mark Donaldson and Dr Ann O’Neill to share their own personal experiences and provide motivation to everyone impacted by this issue.  We encourage you to support the evening through your attendance.”

AlburyCity Mayor Henk van de Ven said NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics showed there were 273 reported incidents of domestic violence in Albury (local government zone) between April 2015 and March 2016, compared with 279 for the previous year.

“It is a shocking fact that more than 270 cases of domestic violence were reported in a year, but there would be many unreported cases where victims are too scared to say anything and no-one else says anything either. As a community we need to take a stand and challenge the culture of silence.”

Wodonga Mayor Annie Speedie praised the community for its support of the inaugural White Ribbon Ball and urged locals to again support the event. “The White Ribbon Ball was not a one-off fundraiser event – it’s an ongoing event to raise awareness of domestic violence and raise funds to support Border community groups working to prevent violence in our community for years to come,” Cr Speedie said.

This year’s White Ribbon Ball is supported by local businesses including major sponsor Telstra Business Centre Albury.

White Ribbon Day is on 25 November and it is the world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end men’s violence against women and girls, promote gender equality, healthy relationships and a new vision of masculinity.

2016 White Ribbon Ball

Date: Saturday, 12 November, 6.30pm
Venue: Commercial Club, 618 Dean Street, Albury
Tickets: $100 or $900 for a table of 10
Dress code: Semi formal, theme black and white
Tickets: online or from the box office at Albury Entertainment Centre, 525 Swift Street