A new campaign that harnesses people power will be launched on the same day as the special candle-lighting vigil in the Redlands on Wednesday 4 May at the Raby Bay Harbour to remember those who have lost their lives through domestic and family violence.
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the launch of the Redlands Working Against Violence Support Service (WAVSS) campaign – Non-violence is contagious; Give it to your friends – will be just one element of next Wednesday’s remembrance vigil.
“Each year in Australia more than 100 women, children and men die because of domestic and family violence and this event is an opportunity to remember these people, as well as those who continue to suffer from domestic violence,” she said.
“Symbolism at the event will include the lighting of candles to honour and remember the victims of this often hidden problem. I encourage everyone to come along and be part of this moving event.”
Together with raising awareness of domestic and family violence, Cr Williams said the event would also be used to encourage residents to spread the message of non-violence through the new campaign.
“This campaign results from the work of WAVSS, the regional domestic violence service which launched in the Redlands last year,” she said.
“The campaign takes a different approach to domestic and family violence in focusing on the message of non-violence rather than highlighting the examples of violence that unfortunately are all too familiar.”
Cr Williams said Council was supporting the new WAVSS campaign by displaying the campaign messages on waste trucks and Council fleet vehicles.
“We want people to see the non-violence message as they walk around the city so we are plastering it where we can, including on waste trucks, Council cars and bus shelters,” she said.
“We are also distributing more than 70,000 bumper stickers to residents, schools and Council staff and encouraging everyone to put them on their vehicles.
“Non-violence is contagious and I want the entire city infected.”
WAVSS General Manager Linda-Ann Northey called on the Redlands community to support the campaign and get involved in spreading the message that non-violence must be recognised as the norm rather than the exception.
“As a society we tend to focus on the incidents of violence and our efforts to stop the violence rather than focusing on and the fact that the majority of people in our community aren’t violent or abusive and celebrating them as role models,” she said.
“This campaign is designed to reverse that by encouraging non-violence through community activism and word-of-mouth promotion. The aim is to highlight and celebrate non-violence and in doing so focus on this positive behavior.”
Ms Northey said the past 12 months of WAVSS working in the Redlands had shown just how important this message was.
“We started operating in the Redlands about 12 months ago and in that time we have had in excess of 2000 contacts from people who need support,” she said.
“The Redlands is a bit different to other areas in that the domestic violence occurring locally is not necessarily in the lower demographic areas, often it is in the more affluent areas where some people may not expect.
“Local examples of domestic and family violence we have encountered include men using technology to monitor their wives or partners.
“There are also some isolated areas in the Redlands and examples of people using this isolation to control domestic and family violence victims. Without the necessary transport or finances it is difficult for those experiencing violence to escape the isolation, giving the perpetrator added control over them.
“We encourage everyone to come along to next week’s candle lighting vigil and to be part of the wider campaign against domestic and family violence.”
Candle lighting vigil:
When: 5.30pm Wednesday 4 May
Where: Raby Bay Harbour Park, Shore Street West Cleveland (near Cleveland train station).
For further information on the event, please click here