Redland City Mayor Karen Williams has urged Redlanders to take a stand against domestic violence by supporting two key local events in May.
To mark the start of Domestic Violence Prevention Month on 1 May, Council – in partnership with Centre for Women & Co and The Red Rose Foundation – is hosting a special Candle Lighting Vigil at Raby Bay Harbour Park, followed by the annual Diner en Rouge fundraiser on Saturday 18 May.
“We need to stand up and be counted through opportunities such as these if we are to make a real difference for those affected by domestic and family violence,” Cr Williams said. “Being part of these events helps to raise awareness of their plight … they show that we stand with them, and that there is hope and people who care enough to step in and do something to help.”
Cr Williams said the Candle Lighting Vigil was an opportunity for Redlanders to gather to reflect on the lives lost each year as a result of domestic and family violence.
“It also allows us to show those who continue to suffer from domestic violence, along with the members of our frontline services who confront this brutality daily, that we stand with them,” she said.
“The need for your support has never been greater. On top of the tragedy and misery, Mission Australia has just reported that around 121,000 people experiencing family violence sought help from specialist homelessness services across Australia in 2017-18. And that’s just those who have sought help.
“The sad fact is that the number of women and children seeking housing help while experiencing family violence is rising, on average, 9 per cent each year and has been for years.
“The disturbing consequence of that is the high risk of survivors of domestic violence returning to violent partners because they feel they have no option other than homelessness, with the cycle of violence starting again.
“It shows just how far we still have to go to eliminate domestic and family violence and, especially, to provide the services that those affected by it need.”
This year’s Dîner en Rouge, to be held at a secret location on Saturday 18 May, will continue to raise funds to help make life a little easier for women and children who find themselves homeless through no fault of their own, as well as expanding the work of the Maybanke Accommodation and Crisis Support Service.
Cr Williams said Redlands Coast now had a major commitment to crisis accommodation and support from the State Government.
“And there is no doubt that the generosity of Redlanders through fundraisers such as Dîner en Rouge and the very public stand that Council and our community takes against domestic and family violence helped to influence this decision,” Cr Williams said.
“We have raised almost $260,000 so far but so much more needs to be done to ensure we can provide and maintain the local services that are so desperately needed.”
Tickets to the sumptuous Dîner en Rouge banquet, which has a red and white theme (red is for Redlands Coast and white is to acknowledge the national campaign to stop violence against women) are now available from the Redland Performing Arts Centre box office at www.rpac.com.au or by calling 3829 8131. Tickets are $175 each or $1700 for 10.
Visit redland.qld.gov.au/dinerenrouge for updates.
Annual Candle Lighting Vigil
Venue: Cleveland’s Raby Bay Harbour Park
Shore Street West, Cleveland
Date: 5.30pm-6.30pm, Wednesday 1 May