One thousand three hundred fifty-five: the number of calls for family violence-related assistance made to Police between June 2022 and July 2023.

The increase of family violence in the Wellington Shire in the previous year known to Victoria Police – 11.24 per cent.

Fourth: Wellington had the fourth highest rate of family violence in the state.

Harrowing as these statistics may be, the real family violence incident rates are far higher.

Gippsland continues to undergo a family violence epidemic, with recurring yearly figures showing a rising trend and an absence of a zero-tolerance approach.

Let’s Chat Gippsland is here to change that.

Let’s Chat Gippsland is a community campaign as part of the 16 Days of Activism international initiative against gender-based violence spanning from International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, November 25, to Human Rights Day, December 10.

The campaign encourages individuals and organisations to raise awareness, take action and ultimately put a stop to gender-based violence and violence against women and girls.

With Wellington Shire, Latrobe Valley and East Gippsland in the top four highest rates of family violence in the state, it seems Let’s Chat Gippsland is needed now more than ever.

More than 70 services, governments and organisations across Gippsland have joined forces to end gender-based violence with BIG Respect -Photo Pop-up with Artist PollyannaR at Sale Clock Tower on Friday, November 24, launching the third year of the campaign.

Gippsland Women’s Health (GWH) is a leader in the prevention of violence against women in Gippsland. Through their work in ending gender violence and violence against Women, GWH strives for all women in Gippsland to enjoy optimal health and well-being as a result of an environment that promotes and practices the prevention of violence against women.

For a third year, GWH joins the campaign seeking to support and remind people that men’s violence against women and gendered violence is preventable.

“Every member of the community can play a role in putting a stop to men’s violence against women and gendered violence in their community,” GWH CEO Kate Graham said.

“Not all men are violent, but all men can play a role in preventing violence against women, and this starts with respect.”

Gippslanders are encouraged to attend events happening across the region, where they will learn that social and attitude change can start with a simple conversation, whether it be with their family, friends, colleagues, classmates or neighbours.

Visit the Let’s Chat Gippsland website, www.16daysgippsland.com.au, for upcoming event details.