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Community invited to annual family violence remembrance candlelight vigil at West Gippsland Arts Centre on 3 May 2023

A candlelight vigil will be held at the West Gippsland Arts Centre to remember victims of domestic and family violence, as Gippsland has some of Victoria's highest rates.

By news@gippsland - 1st May 2023 - Back to News

Community members are invited to attend a candlelight vigil in the forecourt of the West Gippsland Arts Centre, beginning at 6pm on Wednesday 3 May. The annual candlelight vigil is held in communities around Australia on the first Wednesday in May to honour and remember the lives of women and children taken by domestic and family violence. Gippsland consistently has some of Victoria's highest rates of intimate partner and family violence.

Join the annual candlelight vigil on May 3 to remember lives lost to domestic and family violence

Join the annual candlelight vigil on May 3 to remember lives lost to domestic and family violence

Baw Baw violence declines

VicPol recorded 928 family violence-related call outs in Baw Baw in 2022, which is a 7.5% decrease from comparable recorded incidents in 2021. This puts Baw Baw at number 30 out of 79 local government areas in Victoria for such call-outs, showing that there is still much work to be done in the Shire to eliminate family violence.

Baw Baw Shire is partnering with Gippsland Women's Health and Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre to raise awareness of the high levels of domestic violence in our community. In addition to the candlelight vigil, the West Gippsland Arts Centre will also be lit up with purple, in memory of the lives of women and children lost to domestic and family violence.

Suggestions for community actions

Community members are also encouraged to get involved by sharing candlelight vigil social media posts across their platforms, using the hashtags:

  • GippslandFreeFromViolence
  • CandlelightVigil
  • LightACandle2023

Further suggestions for community actions include:

  • Light up your business or office space purple - e.g. purple lights (including placing purple cellophane over lights) or placing candles in windows or in spaces where safe to do so
  • Encourage your community to attend candlelight vigils held in your area
  • Challenge your leaders to speak to the ongoing high rates of family violence in Gippsland for women and children and voice their commitment to the prevention of violence
  • Share local event information with your organisation's partners to ensure broader community engagement and awareness
  • As done by Gippsland Women's Health, liaise with or support Safe Steps by connecting your events with the nation-wide approach, or engage with Gippsland businesses to participate in the event
  • Create your own Candlelight Vigil assets or materials, ensuring the Gippsland Free From Violence logo is used (downloadable under Resources)

Visit and Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre website for more information.

Combatting family violence

Mayor Cr Annemarie McCabe said, "We are proud to collaborate with Gippsland Women's Health and Safe Steps to honour and remember those who have lost their lives to family violence."

"Events like these serve to remind us that there is much work yet to do in moving towards a safer Baw Baw Shire. I invite community members to join us at the event in memory of the women and children who are no longer with us because of family violence," Ms McCabe said.

Pictures from Baw Baw Shire Council website.


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