Photos | Shire takes steps against domestic violence

Thousands of people have vowed to take a stand against domestic violence as part of the Sutherland Shire White Ribbon Walk.

The large crowd, many decked out in white, walked from Woolooware High School to Dunningham Park in Cronulla for the second annual walk.

Many were school children who stood tall as they pledged to take a stand against violence against women.

The walk raises awareness of White Ribbon which works to engage men to make women’s safety a man’s issue too.

It comes as statistics show that in NSW alone this year 12 women lost their lives to someone who loved them.

NSW Police Commissioner Michael Fuller, who was appointed to the role in May, returned to speak as the new head of the force.

‘’Police and emergency services understand the significance of domestic and family violence but the challenge is making sure the community does as well,’’ she said.

‘’It’s amazing to see how this event has grown and I think it’s a testament to the people of the shire that they will get behind good causes.

‘’Domestic and family violence does happen in the shire, our neighbours and friends are victim to it, but the people of the shire aren’t hiding from it.’’

Sutherland Shire Council Mayor Carmelo Pesce said looking out at the crowd made him very proud to be mayor.

‘’It’s great that the young people of our community are making a stand to take action and to stand firm on what they believe in,’’ he said.

‘’We are all a part of a wonderful community here in the Sutherland Shire and we must acknowledge that domestic violence is an issue. In recent years we have lost two women in our community to domestic violence.

‘’This cannot continue. Today is one way we can make a difference.’’

White Ribbon Ambassador White Ribbon Dale Palmer had one word for the crowd- thank you.

‘’When we started this back in 2009, days like today wouldn’t be possible. Domestic violence was in the shadows- we didn’t talk about it, it had nothing to do with us. But it does, it has something to do with every one of us.

‘’We will vow to continue this fight and we are so heartened that many of you are here.’’

The event ended with a moving short film by Kirrawee High School students.