Victims of domestic violence in WA span all ages

Stock image.
Stock image.

A TWO-month-old baby and an 81- year-old were among the 18 lives lost because of family or domestic violence in the State this year.

The killings represent an increase of 20 per cent, or four more deaths, compared with last year’s figures from the Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services (WA).

Women’s Council chief executive Angela Hartwig said family and domestic violence did not discriminate because of age, ethnicity or geographical area.

“This year, among the people killed were a two-month-old baby, a seven-month-old baby, two children aged three and five years and two seniors,” she said.

“In the last three years, there have been 48 domestic homicides in WA and many involved ongoing violence from a partner or ex-partner known to the authorities.

“They are often predictable and preventable.”

Ms Hartwig said every killing traumatised families and sometimes affected hundreds, or even thousands of people.

“We all have a role to play in making our systems safer and reducing the high levels of violence,” she said.

A coalition of WA organisations is calling for the next State Government to improve the systems intended to keep victims of family and domestic violence safe and hold perpetrators to account.

The five campaigners for change include the Women’s Council, Women’s Community Health Network and the Domestic Violence Legal Workers Network.

Along with a request for a prevention of violence against women and their children minister, the groups are asking for cross-governmental leadership and more funding.

The Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Services will remember lives lost through domestic violence at a silent memorial march in Perth CBD today.

Information stalls and morning tea in Stirling Gardens will begin at 10am followed by a rally with speakers at 11am and the midday march.

Fast Facts

+ One in two Aboriginal children are exposed to family and domestic violence in their childhood

+ A woman is at higher risk of being killed when she leaves her abusive partner

+ 70% of people seeking help from homeless services cited domestic violence as the reason

+ One in four women have experienced at least one incident of violence since the age of 15

Choir backs White Ribbon Day

The White Ribbon campaign to end domestic violence is close to the hearts of Spirit of the Streets, says choirmaster and musician Bernard Carney.

“Some of our choir have experienced domestic violence… the choir exhibits a whole range of experiences that the human being can suffer,” he said.

Spirit of the Streets began in 2007 as a safe and non-judgemental choir where homeless people could come together in song and friendship.

The group will celebrate its 10th anniversary next year as a community choir for people from all walks of life.

“Many people come to the choir because they want to belong to something, when they join they become part of a family,” Mr Carney said.

“We welcome anyone who wants to sing with us.”

He said the choir’s repertoire focus was to sing uplifting songs about love and hope.

The White Ribbon March through Midland this morning will mark the choir’s second Midland event this week, with the choir invited to perform at the first anniversary of St John of God Midland Public Hospital yesterday._