Poignant purple

• Kedy Kristal from the Women’s council with Vincent deputy mayor Susan Gontaszewski in Hyde Park.

A NEW purple bench in Hyde Park is part of a worldwide movement to honour victims of domestic homicide.

Vincent deputy mayor Susan Gontaszewski says the purple bench movement started in Canada in 2015 to honour the memory of Barb Baillie, who was murdered by her husband 25 years earlier, and has spread worldwide.

“This bench remembers those who have all died in WA recently; a shocking 23 victims since the start of the year,” Cr Gontaszewski said.

“It is for anyone who is currently experiencing domestic and family violence.”

The bench, which includes a plaque with details of helplines, is one of many being installed across Perth.

Purple has long been associated with the movement against domestic violence, but there’s multiple theories on its origins:

• Purple was one of the colours used by the women’s suffrage movement.

• In 1978 many women wore lavender during a march on Washington DC to demand better women’s rights.

• The Purple Heart is the medal given to wounded soldiers in the US military. Purple is also the colour of bruises.

The benches are being installed through a partnership between local councils and the Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services.

Women’s council CEO Angela Hartwig says the benches raise public awareness and keep the issue visible.

“It provides a physical place to reflect about the important work achieved to date and how we can move, over the next generations, to bring an end to domestic and family violence,” Ms Hartwig says.

by DAVID BELL

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