About 150 people walked to raise awareness about violence against women early yesterday morning.
The group met at 7.30am at the Welsford St, Shepparton, tennis courts and walked to the Queen’s Gardens.
This is the third time Shepparton has held a White Ribbon Day march, with organisers saying that each year they see an increase in the number of people attending.
Participants enjoyed a breakfast by the Mooroopna Lions Club and heard from guest speakers Namoi Clarke and Bridget Hogan who shared their survival stories.
Ms Clarke described family violence as one of the darkest experiences.
‘‘I have learned one of the most important things is to forgive yourself for letting someone treat you that way,’’ she said.
Ms Hogan said it was vital that men held themselves to a high standard and respected women.
‘‘Good men empower those around them,’’ she said.
‘‘No matter how well we teach our children about respecting themselves and others, it’s not enough, we need a broader approach.’’
Tatura Primary School student Rahni Shepperbottom, 10, encouraged her family to come to the White Ribbon Day march and said no-one should have to experience violence.
Rahni said it was important people supported White Ribbon Day and that people experiencing violence knew where to go for help.
VincentCare Hume hub manager Greg Laidlaw said it was wonderful to see so many people participate in the march.
‘‘We shouldn’t only focus on domestic violence on (White Ribbon Day) it’s really an every hour of every day, through the year issue,’’ he said.
If you are experiencing family violence or know someone that is, phone VincentCare on 58219458, Primary Care Connect on 58233200, FamilyCare on 58237000, Rumbalara 58200000 or the National Helpline on 1800RESPECT for assistance.