Working to Prevent Domestic Violence

Article excerpt

THREE candles shone brightly just after 7am yesterday morning - purple for justice, green for hope and white in remembrance.

At a breakfast yesterday, Bundaberg community members gathered to recognise Domestic Violence Prevention Month and to remember those who lost their lives through assault in the home.

Between July 2007 and June 2008, 722 domestic violence and family application cases were heard by Bundaberg Magistrates Court - a figure that does not include unreported cases or those that do not make it to court.

Edon Place Women's Domestic Violence Service director Verelle Cox hosted yesterday's breakfast and warned that domestic violence does not discriminate.

"Domestic violence covers every strata of society from the highest to lowest," Ms Cox said.

Ms Cox said domestic violence was one of the most serious issues facing women and children today, and reduction of violent incidents was in community hands.

"We can all contribute to the reduction of violence against women by adopting a zero tolerance to that violence, by holding perpetrators to account for their actions," she said.

Research shows one in three women experience a domestic violence act in adult life and one in five women experience an incident of sexual abuse.

At the breakfast, Lifeline counsellor Alex Johnson presented a proposed program that would aim to change the behaviour of domestic violence perpetrators.

The Male Perpetrator Program is a 26-week court-mandated course which covers topics such as power, equality and respect. …