Candle lighting vigil for those who lost lives to domestic and family violence

VIGIL: The candle lighting vigil will be held at Raby Bay Harbour Park, Shore Street West, Cleveland on the first day of Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month.
VIGIL: The candle lighting vigil will be held at Raby Bay Harbour Park, Shore Street West, Cleveland on the first day of Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month.

A CANDLE lighting vigil to pay respects to women, men and children who have lost their lives to domestic and family violence will be held at Raby Bay on Wednesday.

The annual event is hosted by the Redland City Council, with The Centre for Women and Co. and Red Rose Foundation Australia.

It marks the start of Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month which raises awareness of the impacts of domestic and family violence and the support available to those affected.

Mayor Karen Williams said the vigil showed those who suffered from domestic violence and members of frontline services that people stood with them.

"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."

Cr Williams said the number of women and children seeking housing help while experiencing family violence was rising on average 9 per cent each year and had 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," she said.

"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."

Cr Williams said the city's Diner en Rouge fundraiser would be held on May 18 to raise money for women and children who found themselves homeless and expand the work of the Maybanke Accommodation and Crisis Support Service.

"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."

The Candle Lighting Vigil is from 5.30pm to 6.30pm on Wednesday, May 1 at Raby Bay Harbour Park, Shore Street West, Cleveland.

If you are affected by domestic violence, contact DV Connect Womensline on 1800 811 811, DV Connect Mensline on 1800 600 636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

In an emergency, dial Triple Zero (000).