Rachael Cavanagh prepares for the White Ribbon Day vigil at Memorial Park.
Rachael Cavanagh prepares for the White Ribbon Day vigil at Memorial Park. Debrah Novak

Candlelight vigil to break the culture of silence

AFTER the Coffs/Clarence district recorded the second highest number of domestic violence applications in the state, members of the community are coming together for White Ribbon Day.

Of the 98 DV orders sought, 48 had assault charges attached, leading the Aboriginal women's group Djinders and community advocate Debrah Novak to come together to shed light on domestic violence in the area and break the culture of silence.

A candlelight vigil will be held from 7pm to 8pm tonight at Memorial Park in Grafton to tackle the stigma associated with domestic violence.

Djinders spokeswoman Rachael Cavanagh said if domestic and family violence were tackled the same way as terrorism there would not be a problem.

"Domestic and family violence is everyone's issue. We have women dying weekly with 78 women murdered in Australia so far this year," she said.

"Indigenous women are 34% more likely to be in hospital as a result of domestic and family violence than non-indigenous women".

People are asked to wear white, bring a candle and a rug or chair to sit on.

"As part of the candle light vigil we are creating a living pop up sculpture," Ms Novak said. "She will be in white. We've had a beautiful headdress made by a local florist.

"We've had a number of cardboard cut outs to demonstrate how many women have been murdered in Australia so far this year.... we're making it a visual message."

Everyone is encouraged to share photos of the event on social media with the hash tag #clarencevalleybebrave



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