CANDLE LIGHTING: Suzette Pelt, Annie Judd and Catriona Pallett show their support at the Whitsunday Crisis and Counselling candle lighting ceremony last Wednesday.
CANDLE LIGHTING: Suzette Pelt, Annie Judd and Catriona Pallett show their support at the Whitsunday Crisis and Counselling candle lighting ceremony last Wednesday.

Locals speak out about domestic violence battles

LOCALS have opened up with tragic stories as the region recognises Domestic Violence Awareness month.

Whitsunday Crisis and Counselling held a candle lighting service last Wednesday night in Airlie Beach, remembering those who have suffered from domestic violence.

The annual ceremony - which has been running for two years - meets on the first Wednesday of May, and pays tribute to the men, women and children who have suffered at the hands of domestic violence.

Councillor Jan Clifford and teenage survivor Keisha McEwan relayed their own horrific tales during a moving ceremony.

Eighteen-year-old Keisha spoke with courage beyond her years, reciting a moving poem of her own traumatic experience.

Cr Clifford - who revealed she had lived with domestic violence for more than 20 years - implored the community to "stand together" against the issue.

Whitsunday Crisis and Counselling chief executive officer Carmen Bekker said this year's ceremony targeted domestic violence in the workplace.

"We wanted to have a business focus on how to deal with DV (domestic violence) at work," she said.

Cannonvale Police Senior Constable Simon Walter revealed there were nearly 300 domestic violence investigations in the Whitsundays last year.

For more information or for help dealing with domestic violence, contact Whitsunday Crisis and Counselling on 4946 2999.


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