A FEW days after Loud Fence ribbons were removed from outside St Patrick’s Cathedral on Sturt Street, members of the movement and people from the wider community replaced them.
The colourful and flowing acknowledgements of survivors and victims of abuse have been a hallmark of many locations in the Ballarat region for years.
Mid-last week a man removed ribbons from St Patrick’s claiming he wanted to start a discussion, and Loud Fence founder Maureen Hatcher said she welcomed that dialogue.
“I think it’s great,” she said. “The whole idea of the ribbons really is to create discussion and conversation anyway.
“Child sexual assault is a topic that people find very hard to talk about, whether they are a survivor, victim, seeking help or want to ask somebody about the issue.
“The ribbons are really a reminder that we do need to have these conversations and they are something that create conversations. If someone cuts them down, whatever the intentions are, they are still creating conversation.”
While the ribbons have often been placed by people associated with Loud Fence, Ms Hatcher said Sunday’s re-tying was a spontaneous event organised by a member of the wider community.
Jaida Wilson was that person.
“I did it for the survivors,” she said. “It was sad. It’s so lively normally, and for there to be this big gap.
“The survivors’ trauma is dredged up all the time. This is just another one of those times and they need community support.
“We had people here earlier than what I expected, the fence is looking great and there are survivors here who are talking and engaging, and that’s what’s important.”
If you or anyone you know is dealing with issues resulting from sexual abuse help is available from CASA on 1800 806 292, Lifeline on 13 11 14, or 1800 Respect on 1800 737 732.