Settlement Services International (SSI) acknowledges and honours the lives of two women who died on November 30, alleged victims of separate incidents of domestic violence.
The news of their tragic deaths has come at the end of a year already notable for record levels of domestic violence.
The sense of tragedy is heightened by their deaths falling within the “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence”, the annual international campaign running from November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, until December 10, Human Rights Day.
“16 Days of Activism” has been adopted by SSI and individuals and organisations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
SSI’s Manager of Strategic Policy, Dr Astrid Perry, said, “The safety of women and children has to be prioritised immediately by all levels of government, community leaders and wider society.
“More resources need to be committed to prevention and early intervention, including a focus on our multicultural communities, which is often lacking.”
She called on everyone, regardless of gender, age or position, to reflect on what they could do to counter domestic and family violence.
She said, “COVID-19 has made life difficult for many people. Even people who were socially well connected have felt isolated. Think about people who have few if any social connections.
“We should be thinking about the people around us, checking in with one another, and considering what we can do to turn lives around.
“Women and men and children who have been victims of domestic violence are not statistics. They are human beings, like you and me, whose lives have been taken away.
“We should be asking ourselves, ‘What can we do as individuals, as communities, to make a change, to save precious lives.’”