As Queenslanders rally and unite to mark Domestic and Family Violence Awareness month, Sunshine Coast residents are invited to join in a march and respectful candle-lighting vigil at Maroochydore on Wednesday, May 5.
The Let’s Grow Together event, hosted in partnership with Sunshine Coast Council and Centacare, is focused on shining the spotlight squarely on domestic and family violence, to grow awareness of this important issue and the support services available.
It’s a crime marred in unacceptable statistics.
Hundreds of police respond to domestic and family violence incidents every day, one in four Australian children are exposed to it and during a 10-year period in Queensland 266 people lost their lives due to domestic violence.
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said domestic and family violence was an insidious scourge in any community.
“Everyone, every single person in our community has a right to feel safe,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Yet this scourge on communities continues to seep into everyday lives and impacts all ages, cultures, genders and faiths.
“This needs to stop.
“Domestic and family violence is a fundamental violation of basic human rights and I urge everyone to take a stand against it and make it stop.
“We must also never lose sight of the intergenerational impacts of domestic and family violence, with the evidence showing that a high proportion of perpetrators were victims of, or experienced, family and domestic violence as a child.”
Centacare Family and Relationship Services Director Di Swan said the event was an opportunity to come together as a community and remember the women and children who lost their lives to domestic and family violence over the past year.
“It also gives the community an opportunity to reach out to services for support, and to send a clear message that domestic and family violence will not be accepted or tolerated on the Sunshine Coast,” Ms Swan said.
“Sadly, last year the march and vigil was impacted by COVID-19 restrictions so we are grateful that we are on track for the event to occur this year.
Follow Sunshine Coast News on Facebook.
“Our services across the Sunshine Coast focus on risk assessment, safety planning, advocacy, court support and strong collaboration with Police, Child Safety and other community agencies.
“We work towards women and children being able to stay safely in their homes where possible through formal collaborative system responses to address perpetrator accountability.”
Sunshine Coast Council Community Portfolio Councillor David Law said domestic and family violence crime was a conversation everyone needed to have.
“Abusive behaviour is not always physical. It can be emotional, sexual, financial, social, verbal, psychological, technology based or other controlling and threatening behaviours that cause another person to be afraid or scared,” Cr Law said.
“It can happen at home or outside the home. It can also include abuse that occurs in the community between siblings, parents, children, grandparents, aunts and uncles.
“I’m pleased to see council strongly supporting this event as the Sunshine Coast Community Strategy 2019-2041 outlines domestic violence as a key focus area to which council is committed to addressing through partnership, collaboration, advocacy and direct action.”
The Let’s Grow Together event will be held on Wednesday, May 5, from 5pm-6.30pm. Meet at Cliff Butt Promenade, Cornmeal Parade and march together to Cotton Tree Park, The Esplanade, Maroochydore where the vigil will take place.
For more information visit council’s website.
If you suspect that someone you know is being abused, there are three ways that you can help, depending on the situation: Talk to the victim, provide resources and help them take action and in an emergency, call triple zero (000).
Centacare provides a range of specialist support services for women, children and families impacted by domestic and family violence. For more information, contact the Maroochydore office on 07 5430 9300.
If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 for advice or support. This service is open 24 hours and provides confidential advice. In an emergency, call the Police on 000. All incidents of violence should be reported to the Police.
Visit the Queensland Government for more information about what you can do about domestic and family violence and to search for support services in your local area.