‘Enough’: thousands to join protests across Australia opposing violence against women

<span>Rallies organised by advocacy group What Were You Wearing and demanding more action to stop violence against women will be held around Australia this weekend in locations including Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra.</span><span>Photograph: Roos Koole/Getty Images</span>
Rallies organised by advocacy group What Were You Wearing and demanding more action to stop violence against women will be held around Australia this weekend in locations including Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra.Photograph: Roos Koole/Getty Images

Thousands of people are set to take to the streets this weekend in 17 rallies across Australia calling for greater action on a growing epidemic of women killed in violent attacks.

Organised by advocacy group What Were You Wearing (WWYW), the first rallies will be held in Ballarat and Newcastle on Friday.

Saturday’s rallies will be held in Sydney and Adelaide, and on Sunday rallies will take place across the country in Melbourne, Bendigo, Geelong, Coffs Harbour, Wagga Wagga, Orange, Perth, the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Brisbane and Canberra.

Related: As regional Australia reels from several women’s deaths, advocates seek both policing and prevention

“Enough is enough,” the rallies’ organisers posted to social media. “The number keeps going up and this is why we are protesting this weekend. Fight with us for change.”

The prime minister, Anthony Albanese, will be in attendance at Sunday’s rally in Canberra.

It is understood he will raise the issue of violence against women at the next national cabinet following discussions with premiers Jacinta Allan, Chris Minns and Peter Malinauskas.

The South Australian Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young, who is among those scheduled to speak at the Adelaide rally, has called for Albanese to designate violence against women “a national emergency”.

“This is an epidemic and it’s time we started talking about it not in terms of just ‘violence against women’,” Hanson-Young told Guardian Australia in an interview for the Australian Politics podcast. “This is the murder of women. This is the terrorising of women in their homes and on the street. Women don’t feel safe.”

WWYW’s founder, Sarah Williams, said the group had five demands including more funding for domestic, family and sexual violence support services as well as for Albanese to declare the violence a national emergency.

I didn’t expect when I started organising the rallies that so many people from everywhere over Australia would be not only angry but wanting to stand together in solidarity to really see an end to this,” Williams told ABC News Breakfast.

“I think there is no better time than now to really put some pressure on change-makers to make some change.”

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Hanson-Young said that instead of political hand-wringing, there should be an “all-shoulders-to-the-wheel” approach, starting with better funding of support services and a “root-and-branch review of the justice system”, including apprehended violence orders and how well they protect women.

Asked if what she called “an epidemic” of violence against women should be designated as a form of terrorism, as some have suggested, Hanson-Young said Australians needed to “change the way we think about it and the way we talk about it”.

“Because what we’re doing isn’t working.”

Violence against women has long plagued Australia. There is no official counter for women’s deaths, but the number of women who die in gendered violence is collated by Destroy the Joint’s Counting Dead Women and Femicide Watch’s Red Heart Campaign. According to their figures, an average of one woman a week was killed in domestic violence incidents last year. This year that average has grown to almost one woman murdered every four days.

“Right around the country our communities are reeling from an increase in family and domestic violence,” the independent senator David Pocock said.

“Find your nearest rally and get out there to show that enough is enough.”

Here are where the rallies will take place across Australia:


  • Ballarat: Bridge Town Hall at 5pm

  • Newcastle: Newcastle Museum on Nobby’s foreshore at 6pm


  • Sydney: Belmore Park in Haymarket at 1pm

  • Adelaide: Parliament House at 11am

  • Hobart: Parliament House lawns at 1pm


  • Melbourne: State Library at 10am

  • Perth: Parliament House at 1pm

  • Brisbane: King George Square at 11am

  • Canberra: Commonwealth Park at 2pm

  • Bendigo: Rosalind Park at 11am

  • Geelong: Market Square Mall at 11am

  • Coffs Harbour: Jetty foreshore at 11am

  • Sunshine Coast: Foundation Park at 11am

  • Gold Coast: Broadwater Parklands at 11am

  • Orange: Robertson Park at 2.30pm

  • Cobram: Federation Park at 11am

  • Wagga Wagga: Victory Memorial Gardens at 11am