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The role religious leaders play, the veil of secrecy and the shame of victims were key topics of discussion at Canterbury-Bankstown Mayor Bilal El-Hayek’s Domestic Violence Summit today.
Other issues canvassed included early intervention and education, the growing incidents of violence and language barriers among the CALD communities.
More than 140 community leaders and representatives from local organisations including Domestic Violence Advocates, Women’s Organisations, Religious and Spiritual Leaders and Police, came together at the Bryan Brown Theatre to share ideas and come up with solutions.
The It’s Time for Action on Domestic Violence – DV Summit 2023 was urgently called for by Mayor El-Hayek following the death of Bankstown Aged Care Worker Amira Moughnieh in July.
Mayor El-Hayek said he was pleased to see so many people stand together against domestic violence.
“It’s a scourge in our community and the violence must be stamped out,” Mayor El-Hayek said.
“We simply cannot stand by and allow this behaviour to continue. Hiding in the shadows and not speaking out is a crime in itself.”
Attendees heard from a 21-year-old victim, Kyzar, who shared his experience of growing up as a three-year-old in a household where domestic violence was all he could remember.
“My earliest recollections were of my father shouting abuse and bashing my mother,” Kyzar said.
“There was one occasion, when we were driving back from the beach and my dad stopping the car in the middle of the road on the ANZAC Bridge and throwing my mum out of the car.
“I don’t remember how she got home. The images are still very clear in my mind.”
The Summit also held a panel discussion which was moderated by Helen Westwood AM and included Bankstown Police Area Commander Superintendent Adam Johnson, Baptist Care’s Tanya White, Muslim Women Association’s Nemat Kharboutli, Jannawi Family Centre’s Jim O’Brien, Save the Women’s Sanjeda Sarmin and Justice Support Centre’s Farah Assafiri.
Attendees were grouped into a number of workshops to come up with innovative ideas and opportunities for collaborations, while addressing existing challenges when dealing with domestic violence in the community.
They identified initiatives and opportunities, which are now being collated for the Mayor to advocate on their behalf to the NSW Government and other agencies.
30/08/2023 9:50 AM