Monday, March 30, 2009

Rally to Mourn DV Victims

From Adelaide Now:
"Mourners will gather at Parliament House this morning to highlight the deaths of women and children from domestic violence.

Domestic Violence Crisis Service executive officer Gilian Cordell said the rally would raise awareness of a problem that was underfunded and often hidden.

"There's been some very public deaths of women recently but there are an awful lot that never get publicised," she said.

On March 4, a woman and her son, 2, were stabbed to death in their Angle Park home. The woman's husband has been charged with their murder.

Ms Cordell said her service never had enough shelter vacancies to cope with the demand from women seeking refuge.

Last financial year, she housed 261 women in shelters and had to use motel rooms for another 581 women, who were accompanied by 761 children.

"When the two women died, they were referred to in the publicity as domestic disputes," she said. "We were rather concerned that we heard that terminology.

"It isn't a dispute; it's domestic violence, it's illegal and it has awful consequences. By softening the language, it takes away some of the real sting." Ms Cordell said she wanted women to report domestic violence. They were less likely to report a "dispute".

"When someone produces a weapon, it's no longer a dispute," she said. "It then becomes an attack."

The chairman of the coalition of Domestic Violence Services SA, Vicki Lachlan, said more needed to be done to address "systemic failures" in the justice and human services system.

Attorney-General Michael Atkinson, who will speak at the rally, said domestic violence in any form was unacceptable."

See also: Measuring Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

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