No more abuse silence

By Melissa Cunningham
March 14, 2016

There was a “loud” message on the streets of Daylesford at the weekend: No more silence on child sexual abuse.

Supporters and suirvours of child sexual abuse victims marched down the streets as part of the ChillOut Festival’s annual street parade.  

The crowd erupted in cheers as the group marched clutching a colorful handmade banner with the words “No More Silence”  boldly sprawled across it.

Ballarat region resident and sexual abuse survivor Libby O’Brien told The Courier she felt compelled to make the banner with her partner to spread the Loud Fence message to the thousands of people who lined the streets.

“This movement is about all types of child sexual abuse,” Ms O’Brien said.

“We’ve seen victims come forward from Catholic institutions, private schools, state schools. Every single ribbon tied across the world has a face and there has been too much silence surrounding child sexual abuse. It’s connecting everybody. The only way forward is to provide a voice to victims and push to protect future generations of children by ending the cycle of sexual abuse.”

The group was led by Ms O’Brien’s pet lamb known by locals as “Rhonda the Therapy Lamb Truthsayer”. Ms O’Brien said the lamb had become symbol of support for sex abuse suirvours in the wake of the latest round of child sexual abuse hearings.

Supporters of abuse victims started Loud Fence outside the institutions where so many had been hurt in Ballarat last year during the Royal Commission into sexual abuse hearings. The movement involves survivors and supports of child sexual abuse tying bright ribbons outside institutions as an overt response to traumas long held silent and as a symbol of solidarity with sexual abuse victims.

It has since gone viral with Loud Fences created all over the world including at the gates of the Vatican, London, New York and Bali.The powerful float won the ChillOut festival’s annual award for best entry into the street parade. Ms O’Brien said the win was acknowledgement and recognition of the courage of suirvours and the work undertaken by the Royal Commissions hearings.


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