Don’t stay silent on domestic violence

A PEACEFUL twilight in Bega was shattered by a group shouting out against violence.

Rather than the usual minute’s silence, there was a minute’s noise at Kisses Lagoon on Friday night as part of the Lights for Lives ceremony.

The event was organised by the Bega Valley Domestic and Sexual Violence Committee.

Caroline Long, a member of the committee, said the Lights for Lives, where lanterns with messages for peace were floated on Kisses Lagoon was part of the international 16 days of activism to stop violence.

Before the launch of the lanterns, Ms Long asked for a minute’s noise.

She said that at a meeting on domestic violence, a victim protested against a minute’s silence for those who had suffered or died from violence and said there should be noise instead to ensure everyone remembers the issue.

Percussion instruments were handed out and those who didn’t receive one yelled and shouted during the minute’s noise.

Then with some caution, as the banks were slippery, one after another, people came to launch the lanterns into the lagoon.

Each lantern carried a message against violence.

The Lights for Lives event was a ceremony for children and families to choose non-violence and there were a number of families in attendance.

After the ceremony was over, all lanterns were collected by a canoeist.

On Friday, the domestic violence committee will be selling white ribbons at its stall at the SCPA Market in Littleton Gardens.

Men in particular are asked to wear white ribbons to signify their support for the “Say No to Violence” campaign.

Those wearing white ribbons are making a pledge to not commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and children. 

At noon on Friday there will be a One Billion Rising flash mob dance for the stop violence campaign and people can also visit the library to view Arts for Peace posters. 

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