Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Baw Baw to turn purple for family violence vigil

The West Gippsland Arts Centre forecourt will be lit up in purple to remember of the lives of women and children lost to domestic and family violence.

Community members are invited to attend the Arts Centre forecourt for a candlelit vigil, beginning at 6pm on Wednesday 1 May.

The annual event was started by Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre and is held in communities around Australia on the first Wednesday in May to honour and remember the lives of women and children taken by domestic and family violence. 

Gippsland consistently has some of Victoria’s highest rates of intimate partner and family violence. According to the Gippsland Family Violence Alliance, Baw Baw is currently ranked 25th in the state for family violence police call-outs, with a 21.21% increase in reported incidents in 2023 compared to the previous year. This shows that there is still much work to be done in the Baw Baw community to eliminate family violence. 

We are proud to collaborate with Quantum Support Services, Gippsland Centre Against Sexual Assault, and Gippsland Women’s Health in holding this event to remember those who are no longer with us because of family violence,” said Mayor, Annemarie McCabe.

“I invite community members to join us for this vigil to publicly remember and honour the women and children who lost their lives because of family violence.

“Events like these serve to remind us that there is much work yet to do in moving towards a safer and more equitable Baw Baw Shire.”

Baw Baw Shire Council is partnering with Quantum Support Services, Gippsland Centre Against Sexual Assault and Gippsland Women’s Health for this event to raise awareness of the high levels of domestic violence in the community. All three organisations will be in attendance on the night to provide support, Council said in a statement.

Community members are also encouraged to get involved by sharing candlelight vigil social media posts across their platforms, using the hashtags: #LightACandle2024, #Vigil2024, #WeRememberYou, #NeverForgotten.

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