Residents demand no more violence at event
GATHERING A SHOW OF COMMUNITY SUPPORT
MT Druitt residents have called for an end to domestic violence at a special gathering in Dawson Mall on Thursday.
The call follows the alleged murder of Kirralee Paepaerei, 37, who was pregnant with a girl she was planning to call Mia when she was allegedly stabbed to death last month in the Mt Druitt unit she shared with the man charged with her murder, Joshua Scott Homann.
The Outer West Domestic Violence Network, the WASH House and Mt Druitt police led the service, which included a minute silence in memory of Ms Paepaerei and her unborn baby.
Manager of the WASH House resource centre for women in Mt Druitt, Rachel Merton, said the event was held to show victims and survivors the support available to them.
She said putting an end to domestic violence came down to changing attitudes.
“A lot of us have preconceived ideas about why violence against women occurs . . . it comes down to the attitudes towards women and the attitudes towards the role of men and women in society,” Ms Merton said.
“As a community, we all have a role to play in changing those attitudes.”
Mt Druitt Chief Inspector Wayne McMahon said police were working to improve methods in helping domestic violence victims.
“Police are getting smarter and getting better at helping . . . please bear with us,” Insp McMahon said.
He said a big part of the push to end domestic violence was stopping it from being passed on through generations.
Chifley federal Labor MP Ed Husic agreed an attitude change was needed to protect the area’s children.
“Children witness the violence and have this scar to carry with them,” Mr Husic said.
“To have this, as a community, going on is wrong on so many levels.”
Mt Druitt state Labor MP Edmond Atalla and Londonderry state Labor MP Prue Carr spoke of the need for more women refuges, run by women-only for women.
Ms Carr described domestic violence as “a national crisis.”
“Sixty-eight women in Australia in 2015 have been killed at the hand of someone who loved them,” Ms Carr said.
“That anger brings us here . . . it brings us together to say, ‘no we are not going to have this in Australia’.”
Ari Roberts performs her song
in tribute to Kirralee Paepaerei at the WASH House gathering in Dawson Mall.