Candlelight vigil against violence

SHE admits her heart breaks when families share their stories of violence, but tomorrow evening they will be Bette Bonney’s motivation at Warwick’s annual candlelight vigil.

The local anti-violence campaigner, who also spearheads Warwick’s Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Strategy Group, is one of the co-ordinators of this year’s Palmerin Street march.

She said the annual Say No to Violence march was an important way to bring attention to the problems facing some of our city’s families.

“It is the fourth year we have held the candlelight vigil and it as important as ever,” Mrs Bonney said.

“There are plenty of Warwick families still suffering the impacts of domestic violence.

“It has such an enormous ripple effect.”

This year vigil organisers are working to increase the number of young people involved in the march.

Mrs Bonney said it was imperative school students and teenagers understood “no-one ever has a right to make someone else feel uncomfortable or unsafe”.

“It is not acceptable in any circumstances; whether that’s in the home, at school or at work.

“Peer pressure even says we can’t ‘dob’.

“But there comes a time when it is very necessary to let authorities know if your own personal dignity and respect are being challenged.”

She said several secondary schools in Warwick had already indicated they were committed to participating.

“But this isn’t about just young people, or just women, it is about highlighting a problem we have as a community,” Mrs Bonney said.

“And being united in our support for those still suffering or who have suffered from the impact of domestic and family violence.”

Southern Downs Regional Council councillor Neil Meiklejohn and Warwick Zonta group president Lois James will be guest speakers at the event on Wednesday night.

Mrs Bonney said organisers had purposely encouraged Cr Meiklejohn’s involvement as part of their mandate to have more men participate in the Warwick event.

“This is not just about women; it’s about families and men, and working together as a community to reduce the rate of domestic violence.”

She said everyone from concerned community members to service providers working directly with those impacted by domestic violence were welcome at tomorrow’s march.

“We encourage those who are marching to bring appropriate signs which promote our message of ‘say no to violence’ or respect and dignity,” Mrs Bonney said.

Our March

Starts 5.30pm tomorrow at Warwick Town Hall

March to the rotunda at Leslie Park

At 6.45pm guest speakers Cr Neil Meiklejohn and Zonta’s Lois James will address audience

Followed by lighting of candles in memory of those who have suffered domestic violence

For inquiries or to be involved in vigil, call 0429 432510

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