25 July 2015

Olive branch extended as Costigan family looks to reunite

| Marcus Paul
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Tara Costigan and family

Earlier this week Marcus Paul revealed that the father of Tara Costigan’s two older children had not yet received any funds raised on their behalf. After speaking with the Costigan family yesterday, Marcus says both parties are hopeful of a positive reconciliation.

The Costigan family are survivors. Courageous in the face of grief and tragedy, they are now working to ensure a young mother’s legacy is upheld in a united and loving affront to the violence that saw a beautiful woman taken far too soon.

This comes amid a falling out (of sorts) between the father of the Tara Costigan’s two older children, and the Costigans themselves. This estrangement appears to be the result of a longer term issue following the breakdown of an earlier relationship. Both parties are now looking to a much brighter future and are hopeful of reconciling and talking through issues in line with the Costigan Foundation’s motto: Together we are strong.

There were concerns over the distribution of funds raised by the Canberra community, and how they were to be disbursed among the children. I’m told that this issue is now being rectified, with all parties coming together to work out how best to ensure their current and future needs are met.

We can’t forget that all of Tara’s family members are victims – including her children, extended family and closest friends. They are victims of an horrendous crime, and the awful scourge of domestic and family violence. It’s both saddening and sickening to realise they won’t be the last family to endure this either.

Our community is starting to comprehend the scope of these kinds of incidents – slowly. It will take some time to turn the horrific statistics around, and for everyone to fully call it out for what it is: shameful.

Recent reports say family violence is embedded in our society, and is at shockingly high levels in all areas of the community. Police and support services are struggling to cope with demand.

A recent Royal Commission acknowledged that many thousands have suffered physical, emotional or financial abuse at the hands of a family member. Commissioner Marcia Neave said this includes those who have died as the result of family violence.

“We hope the commission will mark a moment in time when the whole community committed itself to overcoming this vile social ill,” she said.

Sickeningly, the commission heard one in six Australian women had been subjected to partner violence since the age of 15. For men, the ratio is one in 20.

In extreme cases the violence results in death.

The commission was told one study found each year in Australia there are on average 115 family violence-related deaths.

It’s time to stop it. Now. And if a Canberra family can come together amid their own grief and horror, then we should all unite to put an end to it.

Marcus Paul is the host of Canberra Live 3pm weekdays on 2CC.

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