Engender Equality Candles

Commemorating women who have been killed by their intimate partners

Media Release 6 May 2015

Commemorating women who have been killed by their intimate partners: Domestic and Family Violence Candle Light Vigil

In line with other states across Australia, the Tasmanian domestic violence services are collaborating to present the 2015 Candle Lighting Ceremony on Wednesday the 6th May at 5.30pm in Franklin Square. Simultaneous vigils will be held in other parts of the country. This is the 7th year the vigil will be held in Hobart.

“Violence and abuse often continues long after a relationship has ended. Women present to domestic violence services in Tasmania with long lasting post traumatic stress disorders, mental health concerns and on-going poverty”, explains Alina Thomas, Executive Officer of SHE.

Leanne Chisholm, Health Worker at Hobart Women’s Heath Centre stated, “Factors that impact on men’s violent behaviour against women can be identified early on. If we are aware of them we might be able to prevent some of the disastrous consequences of domestic violence. We can learn to recognise risky patterns of behaviour in our partners, our friends or even ourselves.”

A new report published by the Centre for Innovative Justice identifies the factors contributing to a higher level of risk of women experiencing family and domestic violence.

Key risks that we all need to be aware of (but may not necessarily be) are;

  1. Pregnancy – pregnancy and when children are very young are a high risk time for women to have increased experiences of violence and abuse in relationships.
  2. Problem-gambling – problem gambling is emerging as a significant contributor of violence against women.
  3. Separation –the time of leaving or ending a violent or abusive relationship is often when violence escalates. Women often choose to stay in violent relationships if they can sense that the risk of leaving is worse than the risk of staying.
  4. If men have a pattern of controlling behaviour and a sense of entitlement then this is a strong indicator of the risk of violence. Studies have been able to link this behaviour specifically with strangulation and threats to kill other members of the household.

To date in Australia there have been 32 women killed this year due to domestic violence. The Candle Lighting Vigil is an opportunity to support the people who have survived abusive relationships, those who continue to endure them and remember the women who have lost their lives. Everyone is welcome to participate in the Vigil.

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.


Centre for Innovative Justice, March 2015, Opportunities for Early Intervention: Bringing perpetrators of family violence into view, RMIT University.