A community petition with just under 1000 signatures asking the Clarence Valley’s three elected community leaders, Kevin Hogan, Chris Gulaptis and Richie Williamson to continue to speak out against domestic violence was presented to them last Wednesday at Memorial Park, Grafton.
The petition was sparked following community outrage over the DPP’s decision not to prosecute the two men now charged over the brutal death of local woman, Lynette Daley in 2011, and also seeks justice for other missing/murdered Clarence Valley women, Sharon Edwards, Jasmine Morris and Narelle Cox.
Petition organiser, Debrah Novak said “we as a community must unite on important matters and in this instance we wanted politics without borders which is why we approached our three civic leaders to be a strong voice for us.
While it is reassuring court attendance notices have been issued to the accused in the Lynette Daley case as a result of an independent review ordered by the DPP, we as a community need to continue to advocate to the necessary authorities to seek justice for other women who have met with foul play and been subject to domestic violence.
Page MP, Kevin Hogan said it was abhorrent that at least one woman every week in Australia dies at the hands of her partner or former partner. “Unfortunately our community is not immune.
“As a community and as individuals, we must continue to always speak out when domestic violence occurs and demand justice for the victims” he said.
Clarence MP, Chris Gulaptis said any form of abuse to women was unacceptable in our community and should not be tolerated. “Domestic violence is the ugly side of humanity and we as a society have a responsibility to do everything we can to speak out and do our bit to end the level of violence against women in our community.
“I wholeheartedly support justice for these women and their families and for all women who have been abused. We must all stand up, in particular men, to help rid our community of this terrible scourge,” he said.
Clarence Valley Council Mayor, Richie Williamson said it was unacceptable that the Clarence Valley rated in the State’s top 10% for domestic assault offences. “Domestic and family violence is everybody’s business and we as a community need to take a firm stand to spread the word about ending all violence in our community,” he said.
Djinders Women’s group spokesperson Rachael Cavanagh was unable to attend today’s petition presentation but said this community epidemic must stop.
“All we here about in the media is the heartbreaking tragic loss of women and children to domestic violence incidents. By not speaking up and taking a stand we are allowing this behaviour to continue.
We need to react to this domestic violence epidemic as we do with terrorism” Ms Cavanagh said.