Huge turnout to mourn those lost to domestic violence
IT WAS a cool grey morning at Barney Point's Friend Park where about 100 people gathered yesterday to acknowledge those who had lost their lives to domestic and family violence.
The ceremonial event organised by Coordinated Community Response to Domestic and Family Violence (CCRDFV) drew representatives from police and ambulance services, students from local schools, and representatives from community organisations.
Councillors Glenn Churchill and Desley O'Grady also attended the event.
Robyn Liddell, event organiser from CCRDFV, said it was fantastic to see so many people attending especially so many young people.
"We want the message passed to the next generation so those young people as they go through their lives they're going to make safe decisions," she said.
"We're trying, but we think the best hope is with future generations."
Acting Inspector Jamie Goodwin spoke on behalf of police.
"Today we pay our respects to those who have lost their lives, ... survivors, family and friends," he said.
"We cannot (resolve this issue) alone - we rely on the support of the local community.
"This current financial year we've seen approximately a 23 per cent increase in reported rates of domestic and family violence.
"I think it's attributed to days like this - people now feel comfortable to report domestic violence , it's often a hidden crime, people now feel comfortable to come forward and seek help."
Members of the community laid flowers along an avenue of peace. Gladstone's Zonta Club paid for new pavers to be installed along the avenue and Gladstone Regional Council carried out the work.
A purple and white iced cake capped off the ceremony.