Light­ing the fire to end fam­ily vi­o­lence Cannonvale Li­brary has re­open­ing date

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Dane Lillingstone dane.lillingstone@ whit­sun­day­times.com.au

IT WAS an emo­tional night on the Air­lie Beach fore­shore last Wed­nes­day as a small but in­ti­mate crowd gath­ered to light can­dles for do­mes­tic vi­o­lence vic­tims.

Can­dle light­ing vig­ils are held an­nu­ally across Aus­tralia on the first Wed­nes­day of May to mark the be­gin­ning of Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Pre­ven­tion Month.

The light­ing of the can­dles sig­ni­fies those who have died as a di­rect re­sult of do­mes­tic or fam­ily vi­o­lence.

Mandy Fisher, a coun­sel­lor from Whit­sun­day Cri­sis and Coun­selling Ser­vice, said the lat­est statis­tics showed an­nu­ally 2500 women aged be­tween 20 and 34 ex­pe­ri­enced phys­i­cal vi­o­lence to the de­gree they were hos­pi­talised in Aus­tralia.

“These fig­ures are both stag­ger­ing and un­ac­cept­able and our fam­ily event is also to raise aware­ness and in­vite you to seek sup­port if you or some­one you know is suf­fer­ing,” she said.

Sergeant Si­mon Wal­ter has been on the Air­lie Beach beat for the last nine years and is the sta­tion’s do­mes­tic and fam­ily vi­o­lence co-or­di­na­tor.

His mes­sage is that while it’s still an is­sue that needs to be tack­led head on, things are get­ting bet­ter.

“With do­mes­tic vi­o­lence most of it’s hid­den. The only way po­lice get any idea that do­mes­tic vi­o­lence is hap­pen­ing is when the com­mu­nity calls us (to say) that it’s hap­pen­ing,” he said.

“We’re rais­ing this sort of aware­ness so that peo­ple don’t sit back. (Peo­ple need to) make it their busi­ness to make that phone call.

“There was a great in­crease in re­port­ing do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in­ci­dents in 2015/16 which co­in­cided with a big me­dia cam­paign and some high pro­file homi­cides around the coun­try. It gen­er­ated so much me­dia at­ten­tion that peo­ple were step­ping up on their own and ac­tu­ally phon­ing things in.” AF­TER sus­tain­ing dam­age dur­ing Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Deb­bie, the Cannonvale Li­brary is set to re­open in a month.

Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil said while they were look­ing at al­ter­na­tive op­tions, fur­ther as­sess­ment on the dam­age re­sulted in them wait­ing for re­pairs to be com­pleted.

Out­stand­ing books are still able to be dropped off at Cannonvale Li­brary.

Those want­ing to use li­brary fa­cil­i­ties can at­tend Proser­pine Li­brary, which is op­er­at­ing as nor­mal Mon­day to Fri­day from 8.15am–4.45pm and Satur­day 8.45–11.45am.

Can­no­vale Li­brary has been us­ing the time to get old books re-cov­ered.

Chil­dren’s ac­tiv­i­ties that nor­mally run at the li­brary are still on. Li­brary staff mem­bers are pro­vid­ing Baby Bounce, Tod­dler Talk and Story Time (ages three to five years) from Whit­sun­day Shop­ping Cen­tre.

Kids are wel­come to at­tend the ser­vices for free at their new lo­ca­tion, with Baby Bounce on Tues­day, Tod­dler Talk on Wed­nes­day and Story Time on Thurs­day from 10.30am.

RE­MEM­BER­ING: Mandy Fisher, coun­sel­lor at Whit­sun­day Cri­sis and Coun­selling Ser­vice, and Sergeant Si­mon Wal­ter light can­dles on Wed­nes­day night for vic­tims of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

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