Hundreds of Sunshine Coast residents gathered on Wednesday night to pay their respects to victims of domestic and family violence in a moving candlelight vigil and community march at Maroochydore.
Centacare has partnered with the Sunshine Coast Council to host the event since 2003, as a key part of Domestic Violence and Prevention Month.
Centacare Sunshine Coast Area Manager Adam Beck said that the vigil was an opportunity to bring the community together and send a clear message that domestic and family violence would not be tolerated.
“It’s also a time to remember the lives lost and acknowledge the impact of domestic and family violence,” said Mr Beck.
In Australia, one in four women have experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner and a similar number have experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner. Of those women more than half had children in their care.
Centacare’s services across the Sunshine Coast focus on risk assessment, safety planning, advocacy, court support and strong collaboration with government departments and community agencies.
“We work towards women and children being able to stay safely in their homes where possible through collaborative system responses designed to address perpetrator behaviours and increase their accountability,” said Mr Beck.
In the last 12 months, Centacare’s Sunshine Coast Regional Domestic and Family Violence Service supported almost 3,000 clients impacted by domestic and family violence.
“Domestic and family violence is everyone’s business. It’s vital that, as a community, we do what we can to help families move toward a safer and brighter future,” said Mr Beck.
If you, or someone you know, is experiencing (or is at risk of experiencing) domestic and family violence, contact your local Centacare service for support.