They walked with green lips, tears in their eyes and signs saying “enough is enough”.
More than 300 people marched along Dean Street on Saturday in the second Step Out Against Violence.
Sexual assault survivor Judy Langridge, who was among those driving the event’s creation, lead the walk and embraced a friend as the crowd reached their final destination in QEII Square.
“This is what I wanted – people closing streets and making a big fuss about violence, because we don’t make a fuss when it happens,” she said.
“It’s amazing to see.”
James Fallon’s Wiradjuri Dance Troupe opened the proceedings with event MC and ABC reporter Erin Somerville articulating early in the piece the reason for the march.
“In the 12 months to March this year in Albury alone, there were 266 reports of domestic violence, 360 reported cases of non-domestic related violence, 52 cases reported of sexual assault and 67 cases of indecent assault,” she said.
“The victim could have been your friend, family member or colleague ... it could have been you and maybe that’s why you’re here today.
“Although we can’t stop violence overnight, we can step out and step up and make a stand together to say ‘It is not OK’.”
Campaigner Phil Cleary, who spoke the night before at The Cube, said “while politicians stay obsessed with two mad terrorists”, communities like Albury-Wodonga were taking action.
“I’s so uplifting to be in the street people pushing their prams and men carrying children, aware of their role to end the violence stalking over mothers, sisters and nieces,” he said.
“We are not doing a favour for women, we are doing nothing more than acknowledging their lawful right to live as men, end a relationship and not be punished for that, and not be in a situation where men do nothing.”
Libby Alexander of Walla marched with her granddaughter Penny Nadebaum, 5.
“She asked me, “What are we doing here?’, and I replied ‘To be kind to each other’,” she said.
“There are really simplistic ways to have the conversation.
“I remember when Phil’s sister was killed and how he stood up when not many men did.
“I worked in domestic violence then and he changed the conversation.
“Our conversation is very inclusive now – we are talking about it in a positive way, including with children right from the get-go.”
“Men are talking about it – here they are today walking alongside us.”
Albury Inspector Scott Russell said it was up to every person to raise their voice on the issue.
“It’s great to see the community together on the first day of 16 days of activism against gender-based violence,” he said.
“Family and domestic violence is at the forefront of what we do in our daily duties and we continue as an organisation to work with our partners to stamp it out.”