Sunshine Coast Council and Centacare are calling on the local community to unite as one and mark Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month (May) with a candle-lighting vigil and march on Wednesday, May 4.
This year’s theme is Hear Her Voice, which calls on people to hear the voices, stories and perspectives of women and children experiencing domestic and family violence.
The candlelight vigil and march will be held at Cotton Tree Park, The Esplanade, Maroochydore.
Attendees are encouraged to gather at 4.30pm for a 5.10pm start.
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said there was no place for domestic and family violence on the Sunshine Coast.
“Domestic and family violence is a scourge on our society and continues to affect the lives of many people regardless of their background, gender or economic status,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“I encourage our community to attend the candlelight vigil and take a stand against violence in our region and elsewhere.
“Today and every day, the Sunshine Coast stands with victims of domestic and family violence – you are not alone.”
Centacare Maroochydore Area Manager and event organiser Adam Beck said the vigil and march aimed to continue to raise awareness about the issue.
“The Queensland Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce has released its first report, Hear Her Voice and heard from countless women who courageously shared their experiences as survivors of domestic violence and this inspired us to use the name of the report for this year’s theme for our event,” Mr Beck said
“Hear Her Voice is also a powerful reminder that often women’s views, opinions and ideas continue to be deemed insignificant or silenced and this cannot continue in a truly fair and just society.
“Participants can join us and pick up a free purple T-shirt or beane before we march around the park as a collective against domestic violence.
“The final event of the evening is the vigil itself where the names of those who have lost their lives are announced and a pair of shoes and candle is laid on the jetty to remember these women and children.”
Sunshine Coast Council Community Portfolio Councillor David Law said abuse of any kind was not acceptable and must be stopped.
“Abuse can extend beyond physical violence and can be emotional, sexual, financial, social, verbal, spiritual, psychological, technology-based or other controlling and threatening behaviours,” Cr Law said.
“As a part of the Sunshine Coast Community Strategy 2019-2041, council is committed to addressing domestic violence as a key focus area and engaging in partnership, collaboration, advocacy and direct action within our community, including the support of the DVSafe Phone Program.”
Sunshine Coast Lightning Vice-Captain, Australian Diamonds development squad player and DFV prevention Ambassador Tara Hinchcliffe said she was glad to support such an important cause.
“As young women in sport, I and my team members are proud to be taking a stand against domestic and family violence,” Ms Hinchcliffe said.
“Domestic and family violence is never okay and will never be tolerated.
“The Sunshine Coast Lightning DFV Prevention round will be a great opportunity for our team to demonstrate that we stand with the victims of abuse and we hear you.”
Council representatives will be handing out commemorative purple ribbons for DFV Prevention Month at the Sunshine Coast Lightning vs Giants game on May 1.
Tickets are available for purchase on Sunshine Coast Lightning’s website.
Know the Facts
- 1 in 6 Australian women have experienced physical abuse at the hands of a current or former partner
- 1 in 4 Australian women have experienced emotional abuse at the hands of a current or former partner
- 1 in 5 Australian women have been sexually assaulted and/or threatened
- Women were most likely to experience sexual violence from a previous cohabiting partner (4.5% of women) or an intimate partner (4.3% of women).*
Resources and Contacts
- In an emergency, call the Ambulance or Police on 000.
- All incidents of violence should be reported to the Police. If there is no immediate emergency, you can report DFV to the police by phoning Policelink on 13 14 44 or make a non-urgent report of DFV by submitting an online form.
- If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800 RESPECT for advice and support. This service is open 24 hours and provides confidential advice via phone or webchat.
- You can also call
- DVConnect Womensline: 1800 811 811
- DVConnect Mensline: 1800 600 636
- Visit the Queensland Government website for more information about what you can do about domestic and family violence and to search for support services on the Sunshine Coast or in your local area.
- 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.
- Download the Be there App: A domestic violence bystander support app that gives you direct access to tools that empower, educate and support you to help someone who is experiencing domestic or family violence.
For more information about Domestic and Family Violence Prevention on the Sunshine Coast visit, council’s website.
* Source: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/domestic-violence/family-domestic-sexual-violence-in-australia-2018/summary