The Sunshine Coast community today (November 30) gathered at the Mooloolaba Foreshore Reserve, rolling up their sleeves and planting seeds of hope in the dunes in support of victims of domestic and family violence.
Sunshine Coast Council, Queensland Police Service, the Make It Stop committee and CEOs and GMs from Mooloolaba Surf Life Saving Club, Alex Headland Surf Life Saving Club, Sunshine Coast Falcons and Augello’s joined forces with more than 30 community members for the special tree-planting event to mark 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (November 25 to December 10).
Alongside the blue ocean waves was a splash of orange, with people encouraged to proudly wear the bright colour in line with this year’s theme Orange the world: End violence against women now!
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson thanked the community for showing their support.
“Council has proudly supported this event, now in its second year, by providing another 300 native trees, shrubs and groundcovers,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Today was a strong show of support for victims of domestic and family violence, delivering a direct message to perpetrators that violence against women will not be tolerated in our society and we have a zero tolerance attitude towards it.
“We all need to have a conversation about domestic and family violence. One in three women* aged 15 years and older around the world have been subjected to physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner, non-partner or both, at least once in their lifetime.
“As a father and grandfather, I find that unacceptable and extremely difficult to comprehend.”
Make It Stop Committee Chair Mark Kratzmann encouraged those experiencing domestic and family violence to please seek help.
“Please know you’re not alone. There are plenty of resources available through the State Government, council and many organisations that can offer help,” Mr Kratzmann said.
“This year’s event has grown even bigger than last year’s, which is a very positive step forward.”
Queensland Police Service Superintendent Craig Hawkins, also a member of the Make It Stop Committee, said he hoped to see less domestic and family violence incidents on the Sunshine Coast in 2022.
“We all have a role to play, whether it be knowing the signs of domestic violence, reporting it, or offering help to someone who may need it,” Supt Hawkins said.
“We take domestic violence seriously. If you call us to report a domestic violence incident that is happening now or has just happened, our first priority will always be the safety of the people involved.
“The work the Make It Stop Committee, council, the Partners in Action network and the community do is an important commitment for everyone to unite and show their zero tolerance to any form of domestic and family violence in the household.”
The Queensland Government has online resources about recognising domestic and family violence, the support and services available to victims, and advice on how to respectfully and safely help someone who is in a domestic and family violence situation.
In May this year council helped launch the Red Bench Project alongside the Red Rose Foundation, a community campaign in the hope bright red benches installed across the region will raise public awareness and provide an opportunity to remind people of the unacceptable presence of domestic and family violence in communities.
Earlier this year, council committed to donating a total of 100 iPhones to local organisation DV Safe Phone to help domestic and family violence victims in need. Fifty have been donated so far and the balance will be donated next month.
HELP AT HAND
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse or domestic violence, help is available. Get free, confidential online and phone advice and counselling for women and men, 24/7. In an emergency call the police on Triple Zero (000).
DVConnect Womensline 1800 811 811
DVConnect Mensline 1800 600 636
1800RESPECT 1800 737 732
Image: Mayor Jamieson and the Sunshine Coast community dig deep to support victims of domestic and family violence.