Women across the country who have lost their lives due to domestic violence were honoured and remembered at an emotional ceremony in Wagga on Thursday.
Hosted by the Wagga Women's Health Centre (WWHC), the ceremony coincided with the international day for the elimination of violence against women.
Thursday also marked the beginning of the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, which runs until human rights day on December 10.
President of the WWHC Jenny Rolfe-Wallace said it is important to hold ceremonies such as this in Wagga where domestic violence is a "particular problem compared to other parts of the state".
She also said that gendered violence is "the end of a very long cycle that starts with disrespect", and that everyone has a role to play in stopping this.
"We need to call out the everyday sexism, we need to challenge the very rigid gender stereotypes," Ms Rolfe-Wallace said.
"In our local government area of Wagga we tend to have very conservative views and very much buy into those rigid gender stereotypes, and we know that that's correlated with high levels of gendered violence."
During the ceremony Wagga school captains placed white ribbons representing the 38 women violently killed across Australia this year, as their names were read aloud by various community leaders.
Coloured ribbons were also placed to honour the Riverina women who have lost their lives due to gendered violence.
Wagga Mayor Greg Conkey said that efforts have been made in recent years to increase awareness around domestic violence, but rates remain "at alarming levels, bearing in mind that one case is still one case too many".
He said that Wagga police attend more than 400 domestic violence associated assaults and more than 800 DV related arguments each year.
"Wagga's rate of domestic violence is 29 per cent higher than the NSW average, which is a huge concern," he said.
"Whilst it will take generations to prevent violence against women and children, it's important to start and to not get discouraged."
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Wagga Christian College student Indi McGill said Thursday's ceremony was something she felt proud to be a part of.
"We're the new generation, so I think it will be very important to keep spreading awareness and being involved in events like this," she said.
The WWHC will host an Allies Against Violence BBQ next Wednesday at Victory Memorial Gardens, and a candlelight vigil on December 8 at the Botanic Gardens.
If you need mental health support, contact Lifeline: 13 11 14.
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