Engender Equality Candle

Remembering Women Who Have Been Killed By Their Partners

The impact of domestic violence is difficult to measure. Domestic deaths in Australia reportedly occur once a week. Further impacts of injury, homelessness, post-traumatic stress and unreported deaths – occurring through suicide or complications from injuries – completes a picture of devastation to individuals, families and communities. In Tasmania since 2012 three women have been murdered by their former partner along with three males who were these women’s partners at the times.

“It is important that we come together in a ceremony for people who have lost their lives at the hands of their intimate partner. It is important for victims, their families as well as survivors in order for us to lift the burden of silence of this tragic crime,” explains Alina Thomas, Executive Officer of Support, Help and Empowerment a specialist counselling service for women effected by domestic and family violence.

In line with other states across Australia, Tasmanian domestic violence services have collaborated to host the 2014 Candle lighting Ceremony on Wednesday the 7th May at 5.30pm in Franklin Square. Simultaneous vigils will be held in other parts of the country. This is the 6th year the vigil will be held in Hobart.

Despite violence against woman and children in Australia being in a diabolical state, women’s safety is routinely ignored or downplayed. Alcohol related public violence has recently captured the community’s attention but occurs at only 1/7th the rate of domestic violence. The Australian Institute of Criminology indicated that 36% of ALL homicides occur in a domestic setting, 73% of these involve a women being killed by her male partner.

For the 2012-2013 period the Tasmanian Police reported 2254 occasions for domestic violence, this equates to 6 incidences per day that the Police are called to. These are the ones that are reported.

“We need to lift the silence that is preventing Australia from moving through this social crisis. The silence that prevents women for accessing support and the silence that stops governments from prioritising women’s and children’s safety”, Ms Thomas stated.

Domestic and family violence services throughout Tasmania report many contacts predominantly from women who are living in or trying to escape an abusive relationship. Victims are the subject of verbal threats, coercion and intimidation. The violence prevails in situations of excessive control of finances and can also include sexual assault, stalking, verbal abuse and abduction. Domestic and family violence includes behaviours that incite fear, apprehension and mental harm in victims.

The Family Violence Counselling and Support Service operates from 9am to midnight weekdays and 4pm to midnight weekends and public holidays. If you are concerned about your own safely or someone else’s please call 1800 608 122 or 000.

Clementine Ford, April 2014, It’s not enough to ask abuse victims to leave, http://www.dailylife.com.au/ne…
Tasmania Police Annual Report 2012-2013 http://www.police.tas.gov.au/a…