'You will not silence our pain': Billboard lends support to victims of violence

‘You will not silence our pain’: Powerful billboard lends support to victims of violence outside Knox Grammar


A week after a NSW District Court eased the convictions of 20-year old Nicholas Drummond, who in December, told a woman at a pub in Sydney’s north shore to “put your tits away” and then punched her in the face, a female-founded startup has shown its support for the victim by driving and parking a billboard with the words “You will not silence our pain” around Sydney this past weekend. 

Ovira, a female-owned startup that offers non-invasive, drug-free and discreet pain relief, founded by Alice Williams is behind the billboard, which is among the most compelling and visually powerful acts of support for the victim of late, fastening a rigorous public debate about women’s pain which the company believes is “often overlooked and not taken seriously”. 

The mobile billboard was seen parked outside Downing Centre Local & District Court in Sydney on Sunday, and then in front of Knox Grammar School, the alma mater of Nicholas Drummond. 

Ovira released a statement this week, saying that as a women’s health brand on a mission to end the unnecessary suffering of women, the billboard shows that they stand in solidarity with women in pain and will seek to speak out for those who are not able to. 

Ovira founder Alice Williams said that Drummond’s conviction ease is “…disappointing, but unfortunately not surprising.”

“It’s just one example of how alarmingly comfortable our society is with pain and suffering being an expected part of life for women,” she said.

“It’s reflected in the horrific numbers of violence against women and filters all the way through to so many parts of our daily lives (like period pain, endometriosis, painful sex) – where women’s pain is repeatedly dismissed.”

“As women, we are used to being told to ‘just deal with it’ when it comes to our pain. And we’ve had enough.”

“This young woman has shown incredible courage and her story lets those experiencing the same understand that they are not alone. We stand in solidarity with her and want to amplify her voice, while offering hope to the thousands of other women suffering in silence.

“We hope that our actions can empower these women.”

Drummond’s victim, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Guardian she has been receiving a lot of support from the public.

“The response has been overwhelming,” she said on Wednesday last week.

“All the writers and campaigners who have shown an overwhelming amount of support, it made me feel that some sort of justice has been served as it was evident I wasn’t alone.

Chanel Contos, the Teach Us Consent founder, also sent her support last week. 

“People need to keep being reminded of the injustices that are happening in our court system and the violence men are perpetrating every day,” she said.

“It tells us that privilege and entitlement are not only the reason gender-based violence occurs but also why no accountability is held. Could we expect the same result if that was a 20-year-old from a low socio-economic status who didn’t have Nicholas’s barrister?”

According to the UN, one in three women have experienced physical violence across the globe. 

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