For the first time in its 33-year history, the annual march against family and domestic violence was not silent. “We’ve been silent for too long,” one advocate told me. So, on Tuesday, hundreds of people flooded city streets, demanding change. It’s something many of them do, every single day. But the 16 Days in WA campaign — aiming to end family and domestic violence — is one of their best chances to be heard. Today is its final day. As the dust settles on two weeks and two days of activism and awareness – it’s time to ask whether anything has changed. The campaign’s standout moments have come from victim-survivors. On day four, Courtney Ugle spoke in front of the Premier and WA business leaders for half an hour. It’s a long time to hold a crowd, but the room was utterly engrossed. You could have heard a pin drop as she described losing her dad to suicide when she was 11, then her mum to a domestic violence murder at 19. She credits AFLW with saving her life. She now helps others. On day 11, Jacqui Darley championed Lynn’s law in honour of her sister, a year to the day since she was murdered. Like Courtney, the family has channelled grief into action. They want every triple-0 call, where a person is under threat with a weapon, made at least a priority two with a 10-minute response time. That same day, Tiffany Woodley’s Aunty Rosalie spoke about her stolen “koort” — her heart. It was taken the day Tiffany was killed — allegedly by her ex-partner, in August. It is striking to me, that when I’ve talked to people in the community — friends, family, talent I meet for stories on the road — they know these victim’s names. We are focusing on their legacies, instead of their murderers. That — to me — is a step forward. There have also been significant Government commitments. On day four, the Premier announced a $72.6 million investment to fund crisis beds, intervention and education. On day six — harsher penalties for perpetrators who remove monitoring devices. On day nine — a new counselling service for young people. That was also the day the city’s only safe night space for women closed its doors, and locked domestic violence victims out. The irony was bitter. Ruah — which ran the service — said the decision would cost lives. The sector rallied. Anglicare chief executive Mark Glasson called it criminal in a State as rich as Western Australia. The State Government and Lord Mayor blamed each other. One of the many lessons we learnt in COVID is that red tape can be eviscerated by political will. That was life or death. So is this. And so, day 15 brought a new proposal from the City of Perth and the City of Vincent that aims to provide a safe space before Christmas. Development applications have been fast-tracked. Suddenly — a solution. It didn’t happen because of 16 Days, but because of the evolving culture it’s a part of. The conversation is changing. For victim-survivors it’s exciting — and exhausting. It turns out 16 Days is actually a really long time to relive trauma. One victim-survivor told me she had to pull out of an event towards the end of campaign, after breaking down beforehand. It must be agonising. But their contributions aren’t wasted. They’ve been turning the dial. As the chief executive of Centre for Women’s Safety Alison Evans told me, the point of speaking up is so others can understand what needs to change, and prevent others suffering. It’s not just about listening, but doing. Tiffany Woodley’s mother put it most succinctly — 16 days helps, but there are 100 days to go. It’s heavy, it’s difficult, and it’s easier to pretend there isn’t a problem. But there is. And we owe it to the courage of those who share their stories, to listen. And act.