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“Enough is Enough”: Thousands Rally in Brisbane to End Violence against Women

Around 3,500 to 4000 people chanted and marched around the centre of Brisbane City, to and from King George Square, to call for an end to gender-based violence on April 28. 

There were similar rallies across Australia at 17 locations including Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Adelaide. The marches demanded government action, including more funding for domestic, family and sexual violence support services, and acknowledgement that this is a ‘national emergency’. 

Protesters holding signs as they march down Adelaide Street near King George Square in Brisbane on Sunday, April 28.

Data from an advocacy group Destroy the Joint revealed that 27 women have died in gender-based violence since the beginning of the year, 11 more than for the same period last year. The rallies also followed a stabbing attack at a Sydney shopping centre this month in which six people were killed, including five women.

Protesters chant “No more violence, no more hate” as they start the march from King George Square in Brisbane.

Astrid Raschke, 21, a trans-non-binary protester shared their experience of sexual violence from their teenage years. 

“By the time I was 21, I had experienced more sexual violence, more rape, than I had consensual sex. I will live with this trauma forever, and on the worst days, it feels like it has marred and touched every aspect of my life,” Raschke said. 

The police, they said, did not respond to their reports. As of now, the Queensland Police Service's duties include providing an investigation into the location of any domestic violence incident and taking the perpetrator into custody.

Raschke believed that every major organisation is complicit in violence against women and there must be more funds to encourage domestic violence conversations. 

“I don’t know a single woman, a single non-male, that hasn’t experienced sexual harassment, been touched by domestic violence. That’s not good enough,” they said.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, at least one in five women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15 between 2021 and 2022. 

The rally was organised by What Were You Wearing, a First Nation-led organisation based in Sydney that fights against domestic family and sexual violence across Australia. 

Grace Newton, a volunteer for WWYW said she was inspired to help organise the rally in Brisbane after reading about the attacks in Sydney. 

“I found myself crying while scrolling through the news outside my class and wanted to make a difference and let people hear my anger that so many other women and girls shared,” she said. 

Newston’s initiative started on a Zoom call with 60 women sharing their survivor stories and reasons for helping. The rally was organised in a week and became more successful than they expected. 

“It was so powerful to be a part of the organising team, and so powerful to see young girls, women and even a few men, come together to rally against the horrific violence women are experiencing in this country,” Newton said. 

She hopes the movement can expand and that governments and major organisations can provide resources for marches of this kind.

Waters speaks at King George Square after the march.

Larissa Waters, the Australian Greens leader in the senate and national spokesperson on Women and Democracy, wanted to see more funding for frontline services that respond to domestic, family and sexual violence. 

“We need to change the male entitlement that drives those murders. We desperately need safety and we desperately need equality,” Waters said in a speech after the march. 

In 2023, The Australian Labor government announced that they would provide AUD$589.3 million (HK$3 billion) from 2022 to 2032 as part of the ‘National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children’.

The budget also includes an AUD$159 million (HK$ 814.3 million) fund from 2023 to 2024 to improve frontline services in responding to family, domestic and sexual violence. 

Waters also wished to see more women in parliament and more men speaking up about these issues.

“I wish the conversation would be why men are doing this rather than what women can do to keep themselves safe,” she said. 

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese acknowledged that domestic violence is a ‘national crisis’ on Monday. Albanese said he would call for a national cabinet meeting to discuss solutions on Wednesday. 


《The Young Reporter》

The Young Reporter (TYR) started as a newspaper in 1969. Today, it is published across multiple media platforms and updated constantly to bring the latest news and analyses to its readers.


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