Family, domestic and intimate partner violence occurs in all pockets of our community.
It is happening in our homes, in our streets, in our colleague and friend’s homes. You might not know about it, but it is there. People don’t just experience physical violence, but also emotional, psychological, financial and religious violence. Because of the volume of violence happening in our community, and the very nature of it happening behind closed doors, you might not be hearing about it.
So far this year 14 people have lost their lives to family, domestic and intimate partner violence. This is nine women, three men and two children. And those are the ones we know about. There are still many who we aren’t aware of, or who have been murdered but there isn’t enough evidence yet to charge someone with their murder.
In 1988 the Domestic Violence Crisis Service started counting people who had been murdered as a result of family, domestic and intimate partner violence in the ACT. As at the time of writing this piece, 67 women, twelve men and five children have been killed, leaving 136 children without a parent. Each day we read police and media reports and keep details of people who have been murdered and their perpetrator(s).
At 6 pm on Wednesday 1 May, gatherings will be held around Australia to remember and acknowledge those who have been killed at the hands of someone they thought once loved them. Across Australia, candles will be lit and a minutes’ silence observed. Burning a candle in the night is a powerful reminder of people who have lived and loved, who may be gone, but are not forgotten. Here in the ACT, the gathering will be held at Ainslie Place, Canberra City from 5:45 pm to 7 pm. Everyone is welcome, and encouraged, to attend this solemn event.
The evening is organised and hosted by the Domestic Violence Crisis Service, with formalities conducted by Deputy Chief Minister Yvette Berry, Ngunnawal Elder Violet Sheridan, Director General of the Family Safety Hub Jo Wood, Commander Mark Walters from ACT Policing, Chair of the Domestic Violence Prevention Council Laura Aoun, Chief Executive Officer of the Domestic Violence Crisis Service Mirjana Wilson and representatives from Beryl Women Inc, Doris Women’s Refuge and Toora Women Inc.
Will you be able to attend, if for a moment, to remember those who have been murdered or whose lives have been cut short as a result of having lived with intimate partner, domestic and family violence and acknowledge the many, many children left without a parent?
For further information, please refer to the Domestic Violence Crisis Service website.