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Candlelight Vigils across the Upper Hunter tonight

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The Upper Hunter is invited to come along to Candlelight Vigils being held across the region tonight to pay respect, and remember the victims of domestic and family violence.

This is a solemn event that remembers lives lost to domestic violence but it also an opportunity to learn, to find your voice, call out violence, promote equality and be part of the solution to say no, not  now, not ever to domestic violence.

On average, 1 woman a week loses her life to domestic violence, and the ongoing effects are felt throughout the family and community.

"The level of domestic violence in our country is not acceptable, and the candle light vigil gives us all an opportunity to show our support and also the need to work together and make change," Lee Watts, Manager of the Scone Neighbourhood Resource Centre said.

"In partnership with Upper Hunter Homeless Support and the Upper Hunter Shire Council a Candle Light Vigil has been organised at the Visitor Information Centre (next to Elizabeth Park) Scone to bring public awareness to the community of how important the issue is, and to encourage anyone experiencing domestic violence to seek support."

There are a number of places holding a Candlelight Vigil in the Upper Hunter:

- Scone – The Visitors Information Centre – Opposite Elizabeth Park – Kelly Street
-  Muswellbrook – Forecourt Upper Hunter Community Centre – QEII Building Bridge Street
-  Singleton – Forecourt Singleton Neighbourhood Centre – Mary Street
-  Murrurundi – Outside - Murrurundi CWA Rooms 109 Mayne Street
-  Merriwa – Veranda CWA Hall – Bettington Street

Chief Inspector of the Hunter Valley Police District Guy Guiana will be speaking at the Scone vigil. 

He said domestic violence isn't just physical.

"It's a platform for us to bring awareness on the continuing impacts of domestic violence to the community and to the victims who are still experiencing it,"

"There's a direct effect on the victims who experience assault and other forms of abuse, there's the lifelong effects on kids who are either direct victims or witness it in the home and they never lose the trauma from that."

"There's a whole range of behaviours, people tend to think of domestic violence as the actual assault, or right up to killing but there's a whole range of behaviours starting with those controlling and manipulative type behaviours like financial control, offenders who dominate their victims lives by controlling who they see and who they speak to," said Chief Inspector Guiana. 

"Sometimes it's really difficult to spot, but I think most people know when something isn't right and people don't feel comfortable about broaching the subject or broaching people directly but you could be saving someone's life by intervening or even calling the police or trying to approach that person and asking if they are okay."

If you need help, or need to speak with someone call 1800 RESPECT, the Domestic Violence Line.

You can also ring Lifeline at any time on 13 11 14

And if your life is in danger, call Triple Zero

Image credit: Upper Hunter Shire Council Facebook page.