Candlelit vigil to be held in memory of lives lost to family violence


The West Gippsland Arts Centre forecourt will be lit up purple and a candlelight vigil held to remember of the lives of women and children lost to domestic and family violence. Community members are invited to attend the vigil in the Arts Centre forecourt, beginning at 6pm on Wednesday 1 May.

The annual candlelight vigil was started by Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre and 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. According to the Gippsland Family Violence Alliance, Baw Baw is currently ranked 25th in the state for family violence police call-outs, with a 21.21% increase in reported incidents in 2023 compared to the previous year. This shows that there is still much work to be done in the Baw Baw community to eliminate family violence.

Baw Baw Shire is partnering with Quantum Support Services, Gippsland Centre Against Sexual Assault and Gippsland Women’s Health for this event to raise awareness of the high levels of domestic violence in our community. All three organisations will be in attendance on the night to provide support.

Community members are also encouraged to get involved by sharing candlelight vigil social media posts across their platforms, using the hashtags: #LightACandle2024, #Vigil2024, #WeRememberYou, #NeverForgotten.

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.

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