May is National Domestic Violence Prevention Month and Sunshine Coast Council invites the community to head to Alexandra Headland on Wednesday, May 2 for a march followed by a candle lighting ceremony to remember those who have been affected by domestic and family violence.
The march will begin at the HMAS Brisbane Memorial at 5pm and finish at Mooloolaba Beach where the candle lighting will take place as night falls.
In partnership with the regional domestic and family violence support service Centacare/SCOPE, residents will be able to unite and send a clear message that domestic and family violence will not be tolerated in our community.
Mayor Mark Jamieson said Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month would continue to raise awareness about the occurrence and impacts of domestic and family violence to our community, and provide information about available support for those seeking help.
“The Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month will engage and educate Queenslanders to create a community that supports respectful relationships, practises positive attitudes and behaviours, and promotes a culture of non-violence,” Mayor Jamieson said.
Centacare Scope manager Brigitte McLennan said the service had experienced a steady increase in demand for domestic and family violence support from people in the Sunshine Coast area.
“During 2017, our Centacare Scope Service supported 4249 domestic and family violence victims, almost 30% would identify as at high risk of harm,” Ms McLennan said.
“The number of referrals we received from the Queensland Police Service in 2017 increased by 14% on 2016 figures. That's been a significant increase for us to cope with.
“The gathering of the local community to make a stand against domestic and family violence at our annual vigil can be a really powerful way to encourage people experiencing domestic and family violence to come forward and seek help.”
Division 4 Councillor John Connolly said the Domestic Violence march and candle lighting ceremony on May 2 would be a very sobering event.
“However, it is important to honour those who have lost their lives and those left behind as a result of domestic and family violence,” Cr Connolly said.
“We hope the month-long campaign will challenge our communities to consider their attitudes towards domestic and family violence and recognise that a whole of community response is required to stop the violence.
“We want to encourage family, friends, neighbours and colleagues of victims to take steps they might not otherwise take to respond to domestic and family violence and to join me at the march on May 2.”
The Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month Candle Light Vigil is supported by council’s Minor Grants Community Events category funding.
Follow the conversation on council’s Facebook page by using the following hashtags: #domesticviolence #makeitstop #saferfamilies #neveralone #sunshinecoast
For 24-hour help call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732). If you are in immediate danger please contact Police on triple zero (000).
Event Fast Facts
What: National Domestic Violence Prevention Day to Remember
When: Wednesday, May 2
Time: 5pm: start of march, 5.30-6.30pm: candle lighting ceremony
Where: Meet at the HMAS Brisbane Memorial, Alexandra Headland to march to the Loo with a View, Beach Terrace, Mooloolaba.