In a first for Eltham, local businesses across the town are standing together and going orange as part of the Victoria Against Violence – 16 Days of Activism campaign to raise awareness about the link between violence against women and gender inequality.

Starting on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and running until 10 December, the campaign is timed to coincide with the United Nations’ 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign, which has orange as its designated colour.

Sean Spencer, Chief Executive Officer of healthAbility said “Orange is an optimistic colour representing a future free from violence against women and girls. One in four women in Australia has experienced family violence. As the local community health service it is important that we stand up, speak out and go orange to be visible against violence and show support for gender equality.”

“The international evidence clearly shows that gender inequality is the leading driver of violence against women. We must think carefully about how we all talk about and treat women as behaviour reinforces community attitudes. All violence against women begins with disrespect.”

Eltham Chamber of Commerce and Industry President and cornercaf owner John Scopus said he was surprised to learn about the extent to which violence against women occurs in the community. “It’s a serious issue which affects individuals, friends, families, workplaces and communities. We all have a role to play in ending violence and I hope the people of Nillumbik really get behind this campaign to stand up and speak out; challenge gender stereotypes, call out everyday sexism and promote respect.”

Eltham is going orange with traders offering their customers #16dayseltham coffee cups, bags and stickers and throughout the town there will be lots of orange posters. Customers and visitors to Eltham are encouraged to help spread the message by snapping themselves with the resources and sharing to social media using the hashtag #16dayseltham.

If you or someone you know is experiencing family violence, help is available. Call 1800 RESPECT – 1800 737 732. In an emergency call 000 and speak to the police.

#16dayseltham is being delivered with funding support from the Victorian Government’s Community Partnerships for Primary Prevention grants program of the Office of Prevention and Women’s Equality.