3 May, 2024

Landmarks turn purple

TWO of Warrnambool’s most popular landmarks lit up the night sky in shades of purple on Wednesday night.

By Staff Writer

Landmarks turn purple - feature photo

Both the Lighthouse Theatre and the Fletcher Jones Silver Ball lit up in purple to demonstrate the city’s commitment to supporting those impacted by family violence and focus on prevention.

Warrnambool’s sexual assault and family violence centre (SAFV), locally known as Emma House, is working in partnership with Safe Steps as part of Wednesday’s state-wide Candlelight Vigil.

The Candlelight Vigil honours and remembers the women and children who were killed as a result of family violence.

Wednesday night also held space for people to grieve and ensure that we never forget their loved ones and individual people who are represented in the alarming statistics.

This week’s tribute also saw people share messages of hope and support; offering a sense of community for those living with the trauma of family violence.

Family violence is prevalent in the community, and increasing.

On average in Australia, a woman a week is killed at the hands of a current or former partner.

Figures show that in the City of Warrnambool there was a 12 per cent increase in the number of reported incidents in the last financial year.

During Wednesday’s Candlelight Vigil, many landmarks across Victoria lit up in purple to create community awareness.

Warrnambool SAFV chief executive officer Helen Bolton said the vigil was an opportunity for the local community to reflect and acknowledge those sadly killed through an act of family violence, while bringing light to the national crisis of family violence.

“The Candlelight Vigil allowed us to honour and remember the women and children who have been tragically killed as a result of family violence,” Ms Bolton said.

“It was also a night to promote to people currently living with violence that they aren’t alone, services are available to assist and that as a community we won’t tolerate family violence.

“It’s important to shine a light on family violence through the vigil as the choice made by an individual to use violence is harmful, unacceptable and prevalent, however it is preventable.”

Ms Bolton said that as a community and as individuals we all need to work toward prevention by taking responsible action.

“We need to become informed of the causes of family violence and to shift our attitudes by working towards respectful relationships and gender equality to ultimately end violence against women and children,” she said.

Warrnambool mayor Cr Ben Blain said council was proud to use the Lighthouse Theatre, a landmark CBD building, and the Silver Ball to participate in the Safe Steps Vigil and highlight the vital work done by Emma House.

“Violence in any form, particularly within the family unit, is never OK. We have a responsibility as a community to create a safe future for all families,” Cr Blain said.

If you or someone you know is experiencing family violence, support is available.

Emma House can be contacted on 5561 1934 or Safe Steps on 1800 015 188.


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