Remembrance Day event at Port Pirie.
On the 9th May, fifty people attended the Port Pirie Domestic Violence Action Group Remembrance Day event. This event was organised to remember the lives of women and children who have lost their lives due to domestic violence. It is a significant event because it is important to show respect for the loss of life. And it is important to reflect on the trauma, grief and loss, which is experienced. Also, it is key way to raise awareness about the impact of domestic violence on victims, family, friends and the community.
The statistics are alarming. With one woman a week losing their life and an annual cost now close to twenty two billion dollars due to the trauma and mortality of this violent crime it is important of all of us to have a social conscience, take a stand and voice our message of enough is enough.
Our guest speakers were Helen Oxenham and Lyn Barrington from Spirit of Woman. Helen spoke about her personal experiences and her crusade to establish a ‘Place of Courage’ for all those women and children who have died as a result of domestic violence. Helen spoke about her experience of growing up in Ireland within a domestic violent household. Helen and her husband immigrated to Australia and it was here in the early 1970’s that Helen became aware of domestic violence as a significant social issue. Helen became a worker, lobbyist, advocate, fundraiser and much more.
Lyn spoke of her personal journey and how she has become an advocate in raising awareness about domestic violence. Lyn’s experience has led to her calling for the production of a booklet to help women navigate the ‘what to do’ when they experience domestic violence and leave their relationship. Lyn aims to make legislative change regarding coercive control of women by men.
Helen and Lyn shared the concept plans for “Place of Courage’ and brought a small piece of the granite, which will be used, for us to see and feel.
After the event, Helen and Lyn went to the Women’s Keepsake Garden, which was established by women for women. The garden was opened in 1994 and it is a garden that was built to honour the women who made Port Pirie what it is. At the garden, we were able to show Helen and Lyn the memorial that the Port Pire Domestic Violence Action Group has created with the support of the Port Pirie Regional Council. We have planted three coloured roses – red for women, white for children and a yellow rose to acknowledge that we must all have hope that we can eliminate violence against women. There is a plaque in-situ alongside the roses, which reads, “Remembering Lives Lost, United Against Domestic Violence”. An empowering message from community that takes an active role in raising awareness about the impact of domestic violence.
Port Lincoln (Lower Eyre), Whyalla (Upper Eyre), Port Augusta (Far North), Port Pirie (Yorke & Mid North), Berri (Riverland), Murray Bridge (Murraylands), Mount Gambier (Limestone Coast)