Centacare marches against violence

Centacare has once again united the Sunshine Coast community in a moving stand against violence with its 11th annual march and candlelight vigil.

As the sun set over Cotton Tree Park at Maroochydore on Wednesday 1 May, almost 500 people gathered to mark the start of Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month.

Last year, Centacare supported 17,000 Queenslanders experiencing domestic and family violence. Support is provided through risk assessment and safety planning, counselling and psychoeducation, group work, court support, early intervention and crisis response services.

Centacare Area Manager Adam Beck said the march and vigil acted as a reminder that we all have a role to play in ending violence against women and children.

“This is a human rights issue – the right of victims to live a life free of violence and coercion and for children to grow up in homes where they feel safe, supported and valued,” said Mr Beck.

“On average, one woman per week is killed by a current or former partner and women are three times more likely to experience violence at the hands of someone they know.

“Whilst these figures are disturbing, the Federal and State governments are committed to ending domestic violence within a generation, and community education and awareness can help make this goal a reality.”

Mr Beck added that Centacare, which provides domestic and family violence counselling and support services across Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Fraser Coast, and the Sunshine Coast, works closely with women and children who are exposed to violence in the home, which in turn can have significant long-term impacts on their development, relationships and academic outcomes.

In honour of this year’s theme – Hear Their Voices – Speak Up for Women and Children, attendees wore purple ribbons and marched quietly along the waterfront before gathering in the park to hear from speakers. In a solemn tribute to victims, tealight candles were placed upon the shoes of women and children who had lost their lives to domestic and family violence. This was followed by a minute’s silence.

Sunshine Coast Council partners with Centacare each year to host the event. In her opening address, Mayor Rosanna Natoli said there was no place for violence on the Sunshine Coast.

Centacare offers a safe and supportive space for those impacted by domestic and family violence. If you’d like to support Centacare’s domestic and family violence services, you can make a donation.


Resources and contacts

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing (or is at risk of experiencing) domestic and family violence, contact your local Centacare service.

In an emergency, call the Ambulance or Police on 000.

If there is no immediate emergency, you can report domestic and family violence to the police by phoning Policelink on 131 444 or make a non-urgent report by submitting an online form.

You can also call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT for advice and support. This service is open 24 hours and provides confidential advice via phone or webchat.