No tolerance for domestic violence in the City of Swan
Published on 22 November 2019
A purple bench honouring victims of domestic violence was unveiled at The Midland March That Matters in Juniper Gardens yesterday.
The worldwide Purple Bench movement started in Nova Scotia, Canada in 2015 -purple park benches honour the memory of those murdered by their partners and raise awareness.
Each bench also has a plaque with local help numbers for people experiencing family violence.
City of Swan Mayor Kevin Bailey said the City is committed to working with community, Police and service providers to address domestic violence.
"We came together as a community to say there is no excuse for abuse," he said.
"There's no excuse for 1 in 5 women experiencing sexual violence, for 1 in 6 women experiencing stalking, for 1 in 4 women experiencing emotional abuse from a current or former partner - and there's no excuse to stay silent when we see it happening.”
"We are fortunate to have a strong network of Police and local service providers who support people in need and help raise awareness of this significant community issue."
The sixth annual Midland March That Matters paraded along The Crescent to Great Eastern Highway before congregating at Juniper Gardens to hear from guest speakers.
The March was led by the WA Police Pipe Band and included performances by Aboriginal dancers from Kiara College.
Police figures show the number of reported family assaults continue to remain extremely high - in 1999 there were 2,386 reported cases of family assaults, while that figure has increased almost every year since to 19,290 cases in 12 months prior to July 2019.
Other offences such as threatening behaviour and breach of violent restraining orders have also increased steadily over the same time periods.
The Purple Bench project was funded by the City and supported by the North-East Metro Committee, which includes local service providers who deal with family violence.
Relationships Australia WA Midland Manager and chairperson for the North-East Metro Committee Kristy Darnborough said the march was an important way to help address people’s perception of domestic violence.
“Domestic violence is often a hidden issue and many people don’t realise how prevalent it is in today’s society,” she said.
“This march is about taking a stand against domestic violence and empowering survivors because we all need a voice.
“We will march for the ones going through this, those who have lost family members and to bring awareness to the support that is available.”
Purple Bench unveiled at Juniper Gardens in Midland.
Mayor Kevin Bailey and Councillor Patty Jones at The Midland March That Matters.