The roses to remember the 45 women, three children and three men who had died across Australia as a result of domestic violence were each given out with a name last week.
Sadly, the figures were outdated within days. The moving ceremony held on Friday, November 27 at Castle Hill RSL was part of a Hills Says No to Domestic Violence event organised by the Hills Domestic Violence Prevention Network.
The event was to remember those who had lost their lives but also to launch a video by HDVPN to highlight the three organisations working in the Hills area to help victims of domestic abuse: The Lisa Harnum Foundation, The Sanctuary and Youth Resolutions.
Aileen Mountifield from the Lisa Harnum Foundation said so many people wouldn’t be able to remember the names of those who died.
“They were someone’s mother, a sister, a friend, an aunt and there are 45 families grieving right now, it’s something that needs to be recognised. That every one of those who died had a name.”
At the launch Hills Shire Mayor Michelle Byrne said: “The statistics tell us one woman dies every week due to Australia’s domestic violence crisis.
“Locally, we recorded a 41.5% increase in the number of domestic and family violence cases. This increase has been attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, with many families isolating together – working and completing schoolwork – within close quarters.
“There is a silent epidemic going on. These women’s deaths should not be in vain. We all have to do better.
“Governments need to do better, need better laws, better education, as a community we need to do more. We need to call out this bad behaviour.
“We have a responsibility to the women and children, and the families of the Shire to define what acceptable behaviour is – to speak with one voice when we call domestic violence a crime that is totally unacceptable, and to commit to working together to eradicate it,” she said.
Supt Jason Joyce Hills Police Area Commander said: “The Hills police have continued a strong focus on dealing with domestic violence by increasing the numbers of police officers from one to three in the Domestic Violence Team.
“This will provide police with the opportunity to appropriately target DV offenders while ensuring that support is given to DV victims. The Hills Police continue to work with the various groups in the DV Network and value the ongoing support and collaboration which exists with the various groups. The Hills police believe that “The Hills Say No to Domestic Violence” campaign is an important initiative to reduce the incidents of domestic violence in the community. “
David O’Neil CEO CHRG said: “We recognise that as a community hub, we have an important role to play in the prevention of domestic violence.
“To this end, we will continue to work closely with the HDVPN, Hills Shire Council and local area command to bring about greater awareness of the issues facing our community.
“The ‘Hills Says No to Domestic Violence’ event is an important part of this, as it sheds light on the issue, impact and importance of working together to bring an end to domestic violence.”