ABOUT 250 people have braved the hot weather to attend an event against domestic violence.
The first Family Festival was held at the Albury Botanic Gardens on Saturday.
The gathering came at the end of 16 days of action against domestic violence, with a strong focus on family cohesion and fun.
Senior Constable Debra Milnes said there were hopes it would become an annual event.
“It’s the first time it’s been held,” she said.
“It’s basically a day to celebrate respectful relationships within families.
“It’s about spending time together, reducing conflict and creating a family environment free from violence.”
The event featured a various support groups and service providers, covering substance abuse, financial support and mental health.
The groups had information on hand to assist people with domestic violence and other family related issues.
Senior Constable Milnes said such organisations were at the forefront of reducing violence.
"We were extremely impressed with how it went,” she said.
“Especially given the heat of the day.
"This is only the first year.
"We hope we can run it every year.”
Police from both sides of the Border were in attendance.
Activities were also held for children, including the use of a jumping castle and magicians.
Face painting, giant games, drumming, yoga and tai chi sessions, and live music were also featured.
Senior Constable Milnes said the event was created by the Albury Wodonga Domestic Violence Committee, with sponsorship support from a range of other organisations.
“All the food and entertainment was free for families and it was all inclusive,” she said.
"We had attendees from the Aboriginal and Bhutanese communities come along.
“I think the heat probably put a lot of people off but to still get 250 people along was pretty good.
“We were very happy with how things went for the first event”
Police and support services often experience a spike in domestic violence related incidents during the festive period.
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