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3 May, 2022

Shining light on DV Victims

DOMESTIC and family violence is rife on the Tablelands, with figures revealing 732 domestic violence protection orders were processed by Atherton and Mareeba Magistrates Courts over a 12-month period.

By Robyn Holmes

Candles will be lit simultaneously across the State at 6pm to light up the State and draw attention to domestic and family violence

DOMESTIC and family violence is rife on the Tablelands, with figures revealing 732 domestic violence protection orders were processed by Atherton and Mareeba Magistrates Courts over a 12-month period.

In the 15-year period between 2006 and 2021, the Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Death Review Unit identified 375 homicides as relating to domestic and family violence. Far North Queensland recorded the highest number of domestic violence homicides at 36.

The issue will be the focus of a special event in Atherton on 4 May – a day that is now known as Remembrance Day throughout the State to drive awareness about the problem.

In Atherton, a candle lighting event has been organised by the Cairns Regional Domestic Violence Service (CRDVS) to take place at Anzac Park, Main Street, Atherton from 5.40pm, with candle lighting at 6pm.

The Atherton event will be held at the same time as others around the State.

“Candle lighting ceremonies will be held in communities across the State, from the Gold Coast in the south to Cairns, Atherton and Mossman in the north to mark the day.  We are calling on the community to show support for the event in our region,” Ms Keogh said.

“Candles will be lit simultaneously across the State at 6pm to light up the State and draw attention to domestic and family violence.”

CRDVS chief executive officer Sandra Keogh said she hoped the community would turn out in numbers to break the silence about the issue and remember the victims of domestic and family violence.

“The community participating in ceremonies such as Remembrance Day is particularly important to victims of domestic and family violence as there is still such a silence around this issue,” Ms Keogh said.

“It is an opportunity for community members to show their support and keep these deaths visible when so often they are a brief headline. So many survivors and victims’ families are forced to carry a silent burden themselves.”

Atherton-based Better Together Community Support chief executive officer John Russell said the issue was a very important one that needed greater exposure.

“It is a complex and difficult area with many, many factors that drive these increases in both the level of violence and its prevalence is our society, including in this our local community,” he said.

“Violence however is overwhelmingly a problem for men to solve and until the men in our society take accountability and action, we will never turn that tap off.

Men should be asking themselves what they can do - if they are in positions of power they should fix power imbalances; if they are violent, they should stop; if they see violence they should speak up; if they aren’t able to do any of that, they should show up.”

The candle lighting event is a community event and all are welcome.

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