Written by Jorjia White.
Edited for online by Eliza Buzacott-Speer
Two people die a week at the hands of a family member and 75 per cent of victims in intimate partner murders are female, a new report from the Australian Institute of Criminology has found.
A candlelight vigil will be held tonight in South Bank to honour the lives lost to domestic violence in the past year.
DVConnect chief executive Diane Mangan organised the event which will be attended by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg.
Ms Mangan says tonight’s event marks the 10th anniversary of the now nationwide vigil.
“We’re wanting to keep gathering the momentum and making a statement, a collective statement, to families that the community is there to support you at this time and to show respect,” she said.
The vigil will be followed by the start of the 110 km Darkness to Daylight run, which has already raised more than $20,000.
Each kilometre of the overnight event represents a person who has lost their life to domestic violence in the past year.
Australia’s CEO Challenge is supporting the run and chief executive Amanda Sams says the country must continue working to decrease domestic violence statistics.
“It’s about educating the workforce so if somebody within their business or area is a victim of domestic violence, they can recognise the signs and support them however they need to be supported,” she said.
“So funds will go to help us expand our reach.”
Ms Sams says domestic violence costs Australia around $1.3 billion.
Statistics released overnight by the Australian Institute of Criminology revealed that during the past 10 years almost 490 women died in domestic violence cases.
Women were also far more likely to be victims in murders by intimate partners, with 75 per cent of victims during the past decade female.
Lisa Harnum was 30 years old when she was killed by her partner in 2011 and a foundation was set up in her memory by Aileen Mountifield.
Ms Mountifield says the Queensland Investment Corporation yesterday donated two properties to become a refuge for women who need one.
“We’ll be able to provide support services, counselling and also group work,” she said.
“We understand women don’t necessarily disclose the situation they’re in because they’re afraid and they have guilt and shame and they feel like they might be judged.
“So it’s really to provide a safe place for women to talk about their situation and be supported.”
Ms Mountifield says the refuge will be invaluable for the Castle Hill Community, which does not have a women’s refuge.
But she says there is a long way to go.
“There is one thing that we can do and that is to encourage education in schools to be implemented so that children can be taught.”