Peel region to march in silence for victims of domestic violence

The Peel region is preparing to walk in the ninth annual Silent Domestic Violence Memorial March on November 15 to remember loved ones lost as a result of domestic homicide.

Domestic violence support workers will join hundreds of community members to make the walk in quiet through Mandurah's city centre.

The sombre event is a reminder of the ongoing impact of family and domestic violence in the Peel region and a call for prevention and protection for survivors.

The memorial first began in Perth in 1991 when a group of women marched for a better system for themselves, and their families, to be safe.

Essential support services, Pat Thomas House Refuge and Allambee Counselling, coordinated the first Peel march in 2011 to show a united front and support for those grieving the experience of domestic violence.

Pat Thomas House Refuge chief Jill Robinson said the march was still just as important today as it was when it began.

"Last year there were 13 domestic homicides in Western Australia and it occursirrespective of race, religion or socio-economic status," she said.

"There's a lot more awareness now so we're expecting a bigger turnout at the march this year and it's really good that the awareness is growing.

"We started with about 50 participants and that was up to 100 last year but we're thinking it will be about 150 this year."

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Keynote speakers will start the address at 10am at Mewburn Gardens on Sholl Street, Mandurah.

Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk will open the memorial followed by speeches from Mandurah mayor Rhys Williams and a survivor of domestic violence.

This will be followed by a Silent March along Mandurah Terrace to the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre for light refreshments, with all residents warmly invited to attend.

Community members will walk with life-size wooden figures and white crosses to symbolise the lives that have been taken so far this year and represent those who are still at risk of violence.

Ms Robinson described the silence as a "powerful and moving experience".

"The purpose of the silence is to acknowledge the people who have died as well as the survivors, it's about everybody taking the time to think about the lives that have been lost," she said.

"The silence shows respect and allows people to contemplate what some women and men and children go through - it's not just domestic violence but family violence as well. It can be quite complex.

"We need to make a commitment to change and not accept that behaviour.

"In an ideal world, a service like ours just wouldn't be necessary."

For more information about the 2019 Silent March, contact Pat Thomas House on 9535 4775 or Allambee Counselling on 9535 8263.

  • Are you experiencing domestic violence? Call police on 000 in an emergency or 131 444 to report an incident.
  • For counselling or support services, call the free 24 hour Womens Domestic Violence Helpline on 1800 007 339 or the Men's Domestic Violence Helpline on 1800 000 599.
  • Children can call the Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800.