Vigil for family violence victims

STAND TOGETHER: Limestone Coast Family Violence Action Group members Nik Tilley, Georgia Ploenges-Beltchev, the group's treasurer, secretary Katherine Davies and Kate Spokes are encouraging people to attend the candlelight vigil.

By Raquel Mustillo

CANDLES will illuminate Mount Gambier’s Cave Gardens next month as community members gather together to remember women who have lost their lives as a result of domestic and Aboriginal family violence.

The vigil, organised by the Limestone Coast Family Violence Action Group and Soroptimist International Mount Gambier, will be held on May 5 at 5.30pm.

Domestic violence survivor and advocate Glyn Scott will address crowds at the event, detailing her difficult circumstances she lived through and using her strength to bring her perpetrators to justice.

Ms Scott’s teenage and early adult years were lived in constant fear, with domestic violence and rape a daily occurrence and by the age of 19, had three children to care for and protect.

Her autobiography – which will be available to purchase at the vigil – chronicles the barriers she faced in the struggle to protect her children.

During the process of writing her story, she found the courage to bring her perpetrators to justice.

Ms Scott’s case reached the High Court of Australia in 2012 and the decision set a precedent that changed the law both nationally and internationally.

Limestone Coast Family Violence Action Group secretary Katherine Davies said this year’s event would provide a unique survivors perspective and help provide community members with tools to identify and stop domestic violence.

“We are really lucky to have Glyn Scott – who is an abuse survivor herself – guest speak at the event and it will be fantastic to have a survivor’s perspective of the effects of domestic violence,” Ms Davies said.

“It will be great for anyone wanting to be inspired by a survivor’s story, someone who has experienced abuse or is currently in an abusive situation.

“We are really encouraging people to learn more and some of the hidden signs so they can acknowledge domestic and family violence when they see it and perhaps do something about it if it is safe to do so.”

Ms Davies urged community members to demonstrate their support for Limestone Coast families affected by domestic violence and stand in solidarity against eliminating violence in society.

“We will acknowledge the number of women and children that have died so far this year to family and domestic violence to highlight how pervasive the problem is,” she said.

“It is important to commemorate those lives and to encourage the community to learn more about family and domestic violence.”