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Shining a light on domestic violence


When Thomas More College held a Domestic Violence and Candlelit Vigil and march on June 27, it honoured lives affected by domestic violence.

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The quiet gathering was organised by members of the school’s More Justice Team, comprising Year 12 students who believe a collective voice can be a powerful force for change.

Among the 150 people in attendance were Thomas More College staff and students, representatives of Catholic Education SA, members of the Salisbury Catholic parish, John Fullbrook, MP Member for Playford, and Yvonne Karabatsos from Vinnies Women’s Crisis Centre.

“We have an amazing social justice team,” said assistant principal – Religious Identity and Mission (APRIM) Ruth Taylor.

“Every year the team puts an annual plan of actions together. We do things like the Vinnies Winter Sleepout, but we also do things that are timely.

“We have a connection with the Vinnies Women’s Crisis Centre; we painted their kids’ playroom and take morning tea there regularly.

“We take our female More Justice Team members there every term to help out there and nurture that connection.”

After a reflection, the group marched in a loop around the school and along Salisbury Highway.

Student Grace Leonello and Social Justice coordinator Emma Cannon also addressed the crowd, describing the vigil as a moment of remembrance, a call to action, a beacon of hope and a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

“Domestic violence is an insidious force, often hidden behind closed doors, leaving deep and lasting impacts on victims,” Grace said.

“It is a betrayal of trust, a distortion of love, and a violation of the sanctity of the home. Tonight, we acknowledge the courage of survivors who have managed to break free from the cycle of abuse but we also we mourn those who were unable to escape its grasp.”

Attendees were invited to light candles; each flame representing a life affected by violence.

“Lives that matter, lives that deserve peace, safety and dignity. These flames symbolise our collective commitment to shed light on this issue, to speak out against it and support those in need. In this shared moment of reflection, we are reminded that it is upon each one of us to foster a community that does not turn a blind eye, but rather listens, supports and takes action. Our collective voice can be a powerful force for chance, creating a world of peace – a world that God desires.”

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