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Holding a candle to domestic violence

Around 150 people, including Sarina O’Keefe and River Cavanagh (pictured), attended the anti domestic violence candlelight vigil at Yamba Oval on Tuesday May 31. Image: Lynne Mowbray
  It’s a simple message – “the standard you walk past is the standard you accept” – and it’s one that is resonating more and more around the country as the spectre of domestic violence is exposed by the likes of former Australian of the Year and anti domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty. On Tuesday May 31 around 150 people gathered at Yamba, under the banner of Action 4 Clarence, to hold a candlelight vigil for those “among us who cannot speak, [and to] stand up for those who cannot muster the strength” against “those who perpetrate domestic violence among us”. “The Djinders, #‎justicefornorma, RizeUp Australia and action4clarence groups standing side by side call on our leaders to do the same,” the action4clarence group wrote on its facebook page. “We’re keeping the pressure on the DPP [Department of Public Prosecutions] and NSW AG [Attorney General] Gabrielle Upton to review the [Norma Daley] case expeditiously and to let them know that the community wants ACTION and charges laid. “We want the voiceless sufferers in our community to know that we hear them and that we will speak on their behalf and we want the perpetrators to know that their behaviour will no longer be accepted with impunity. “Our community unites today to say to our leaders we want action on the broader issue of domestic and family violence in the valley and we want #justicefornorma and our other murdered and missing valley women Lee Stace, Jasmine Morris, and Sharon Edwards.” Speaking on behalf of the Justice for Norma campaign, action4clarence and Djinders (Aboriginal Women from the Far North Coast, passionate about creating change in our Communities), Debrah Novak said organisers of the vigil were “really happy with the outcome”. “It’s the first time the valley has held a vigil like this,” she said. “We are in the process of organising one for Grafton. “We held this vigil in Yamba to accommodate Lynette [Norma] Daley’s family, because they live in Yamba, and because Lynette was a Yaegl woman. “Yamba is women’s country and we followed Aboriginal protocols.” Ms Novak said the gathering “clearly demonstrates that the Clarence Valley says no to domestic violence and family violence”. “We are running a petition as well, we have 700 signatures on that so far,” she said. “It asks Clarence Valley Council and state and federal MPs to come together in a united voice against domestic violence and to make it non-political. “We are asking them to take a proactive stance in solving the cases [deaths] of Lynette Daley, Leanne Stace and to throw more resources at the [missing women] Sharon Edwards and Jasmine Morris cases. “Overall, we were blown away by the extent of the media coverage, particularly the ABC North Coast’s coverage.” Look out for petitions at various places/businesses around the valley or visit the Facebook pages to make contact or see more information.