Big bunch of brollies send the white message

GUNNEDAH GO: White Ribbon women, from left, Kelly Donnelly and Krysten Barros (from K&K), world record attempt organiser Debra Hilton, Fonda Blackwell from Gunnedah Shire Council and Lisa Davies of Gunnedah PRAMS, are leading the way in the brolly brigade.GUNNEDAH is out to set a new world record to highlight the fight against domestic violence.

And that message will be laid out in a big way when an anticipated 3000 people gather to form a massive umbrella mosaic in the shape of a white ribbon in the town in November.

If successful, the event will not only send out the non-tolerance of domestic and family violence message in Gunnedah, but also make the Guinness World Record Book, according to organiser and resident Debra Hilton.

“The current record is 2480, registered only this week in Orlando, Florida. But we’re going to blitz that, I know we can,” she said.

To qualify for the record, participants must hold a white umbrella upright for at least 30 seconds while the event is being recorded using aerial photography.

Ms Hilton added that one in three women will experience physical or sexual assault in her lifetime. In Gunnedah, over 240 incidents of domestic violence are recorded annually. But nationally, only one in three women tend to report these incidents to the police.

“That suggests that the prevalence of domestic and family violence in Gunnedah is much higher, and we need to remember that these women are our sisters, mothers, girlfriends, wives, daughters, work colleagues and friends. Most endure their pain in silence.”

Statistics show violence against women is at epidemic proportions in Australia, and over a 12-month period, an average of one woman is killed every week as a result of intimate partner violence as reported in a news release by Melinda McCulloch, chair of the Domestic and Family Violence committee.

The world record attempt will be held at Donnelly Fields in Gunnedah from 10am to 2pm on November 8.

“I’ve been fortunate in that Gunnedah Shire Council has agreed to be a partner, and the local Crime Prevention Committee and Gunnedah Domestic & Family Violence Interagency are also supporting me.

“The event will be of a serious nature, but we want it to also be a fun day for everyone.”

Ms Hilton has created a Facebook Event page (Gunnedah White Ribbon Guinness World Record Attempt) and is encouraging the community to “like” the page to track the event’s progress and check out how to get involved.

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