Slide show: Hundreds protest againts abuse

LIVERPOOL residents have vowed to never sit idly by while domestic violence and sexual abuse destroys lives.

At a protest march in support of White Ribbon Day, a male-led initiative aimed at preventing violence against women, hundreds of local residents joined community organisations and members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) to make a stand.

Current statistics have reported that one in every three families living in the Liverpool local government area will experience some form of family violence, and a further one in five will become victims of some form of sexual violence during their lifetime.

Domestic violence cost the economy $13.6 billion dollars in 2009, a figure estimated to rise to $15.6 billion by 2021.

UCKG pastor, Victor Silva, said his church received many parishioners who had been abused or carried the scars of abuse.

"We see the struggle that these people go through in order to move on and become functional members of society," he said.

"They are our fellow human beings and something needs to be done.

"People need to know that this is a bigger issue than they think, and with alarming local statistics, sitting around and feeling sorry for victims of abuse is just not good enough, we need to raise awareness to stop this evil act."

Pastor Silva said he knew raising awareness would not stop rape and domestic violence, but he hoped it was enough to get the attention of politicians to legislate on the matter.

"Violence against women and children is an issue worth fighting for. We need to get victims the help they need because they cannot carry that pain for the rest of their life."

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