Event shines a light on stop­ping fam­ily abuse

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Ja­cob Wil­son ja­cob.wil­son@whit­sun­day­times.com.au

“Don’t leave the door open at that time of night, keep fly screen doors (and win­dows) locked and leave sen­sor lights and out­door lights on.

“And if it hap­pens again or you’re con­cerned call the po­lice.

Se­nior Con­sta­ble Bent­ley said no sim­i­lar in­ci­dents were re­ported to the sta­tion. MORE than 100 women, men and chil­dren die ev­ery year as a re­sult of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and 2500 women aged be­tween 20–34 are hos­pi­talised.

It was these peo­ple and all vic­tims of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence who were re­mem­bered at a can­dle light­ing cer­e­mony at the Air­lie Beach fore­shore last night.

Award-win­ning New Zealand singer Emily Jayne took to the stage to sing in sol­i­dar­ity with ev­ery­one af­fected by the is­sue.

Vig­ils were set alight across the na­tion for the first Wed­nes­day of May, which marks Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Preven­tion Month.

Whit­sun­day Coun­selling and Sup­port chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Steve Alexan­der said it was an im­por­tant time to stand united and send a clear mes­sage.

“It’s im­por­tant to do what we can to min­imise and try and re­duce (do­mes­tic vi­o­lence) and make the pub­lic aware it is not ac­cept­able, and Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Preven­tion Month is not only about a can­dle light­ing cer­e­mony but the other pro­grams we par­take to bring aware­ness to the fore­front,” he said.

“It does nor­malise the fact that peo­ple aren’t alone, that it is preva­lent in our so­ci­ety and it does give peo­ple the courage to step for­ward and have a voice.”

In light of pres­sures and stress caused due to Cy­clone Deb­bie, Mr Alexan­der said it was par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant for peo­ple to re­mem­ber to pur­sue healthy ways of re­solv­ing stress.

“It is sta­tis­ti­cally proven that there is an in­crease in do­mes­tic vi­o­lence events af­ter a ma­jor dis­as­ter,” he said.

“It’s still not ac­cept­able.” More aware­ness-rais­ing events are ex­pected to be an­nounced.

If you or some­one you know is suf­fer­ing from do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, phone Life­line on 13 11 14.

PHOTO: KATARZYNA BIALASIEWICZ

TAKE CARE: Whit­sun­day res­i­dents are urged to be wary of early morn­ing door knocks.

PHOTO: LAURA TELFORD

OUT OF THE SHAD­OWS: The an­nual can­dle­light cer­e­mony to re­mem­ber do­mes­tic vi­o­lence vic­tims.

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