"We won't wait," was the message from women on Thursday.
As part of the Global 16 days to end gendered violence campaign, members of the South Coast Labour Council, Unionists and members of the public took to Crown Street Mall in a vocal display of frustration.
After hearing from South Coast Labour Council president Tina Smith, CEO of Illawarra Women's Health Centre Sally Stevenson, Labor Party vice president Mich-Elle Myers and NSW ACT women's officer Ellen McNally, attendees formed a human chain.
The "chain of solidarity" was also part of a call for 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave as part of the National Employment Standards.
"It would cost five cents per person, per week," Ms Smith said.
"This problem will not go away, and women need financial support to [help them] leave in the form of paid family and domestic violence leave.
"One woman a week dies at the hands of a current or former partner in Australia.
"Many of us do not have the luxury of waiting for change."
Ms Smith said helping women leave safely wasn't just good for them - it was good for their family, and good for society.
Ms McNally spoke about the trauma of domestic violence.
"It's crazy to think that person you love most ... their hands can become weapons, used against you in your own home," she said.
"We need to provide safe pathways for women to leave unsafe relationships."
As part of the global campaign, the Illawarra Women's Health Centre has pushed for the NSW government to fund a local trauma recovery centre, which would be a one-stop shop for those fleeing abusive relationships to access the services they need, including psychological support, legal support and physiotherapy.
The business case for the centre, which would cost $10 million over three years to build and run, has been with the state government since July, with no response.
To read the letter pushing for an 80/80 solution by 2031 go to: bit.ly/3CMJjyp
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