Memorial maps women, children lost to violence
THEIR names are etched in our hearts and minds and now Mackay women and children lost to violence will be forever remembered in the digital world.
In a world first, the RED HEART Campaign will launch an online memorial commemorating Australian woman and children lost to murder, manslaughter, neglect, and other acts of violence.
Lyn Burke - whose grandson Hemi Goodwin-Burke was killed at the hands of his babysitter - will bravely speak at the launch.
The memorial currently holds the stories of more than 2200 victims of violence, including those lost to intimate partner violence, family violence, sexual violence, stranger violence, and associate violence.
This includes 12 women and children from the Mackay region.
Creator Sherele Moody hopes the memorial will one day document every woman and child killed in Australia from White Settlement to current day.
Launching on the eve of the International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women, Tuesday's event also marks the 58th anniversary of five-year-old Sandra Dorothy Bacon's abduction, rape and murder in Townsville and commemorates 30 years since the abduction, rape and murder of nine-year-old Stacey-Ann Tracy in Roma.
Both Sandra and Stacey-Ann were killed by Barry Gordon Hadlow.
Hadlow was the stepfather of Ms Moody.
Stacey-Ann and Sandra are the inspiration behind the memorial, and it is their memories that have driven Ms Moody to spend the past five years researching and documenting the killing of women and children.
Ms Moody - an award-winning journalist with News Corp Australia - designed the memorial to provide a special online space for family and friends to remember their loved ones while offering a journalism based publicly accessible database of murders and manslaughters in our country.
"As a child I was subject to years of violent abuse and at 18 was horrified to find my stepfather had raped and murdered two little girls," she said.
"Behind each heart on the memorial, small for children and large for women, is a system that has failed victims, and this is my step towards creating a better future for us.
"As a nation, we have a long way to go to prevent violence against women and children.
"I hope the rawness of stories featured on the memorial inspires more complex support systems for current victims and loved ones left behind."
The project's development was funded entirely by Ms Moody and her friends and will rely on public support as it continues to grow.
To support the project, visit here.
If you are experiencing intimate partner violence, family violence or sexual violence, please contact the national helpline on 1800 RESPECT.
Mensline can be contacted via 1300 78 99 78 and Lifeline is available on 13 11 14.
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