Mother of murdered daughter supports Men in Uniform Stalls

Sharon Bell, the mother of murdered Canberra woman Paula Conlon has joined ACT Policing to support the Men in Uniform Stalls (Saturday November 22) urging the community to ‘Stand up, speak out, and break the cycle of family violence’.

Paula Conlon was murdered in March 2012 by her partner. 

“At her lowest time, and in desperate need of having someone to love and desperately wanting to be loved, Paula met somebody who she thought would make her happy and look after her,” Sharon Bell said.

“This person turned out to have a long history of drug and alcohol abuse as well as violence to others over many years.”

“We all like to think that our family, friends, neighbours and ourselves are safe at home. Most of us would believe this to be basic human right, but sadly, for many people and in our personal case our daughter Paula, this is not always the case.”

“If you know somebody who is in trouble; it might be a friend, colleague or an acquaintance, pick up the phone and call police on 131 444 or the Domestic Violence Crisis Service ACT on 62 800 900.”

Alarmingly one in three women has experienced physical violence since the age of 15 and on average one woman is killed every week by a current or former partner in Australia.

Chief Police Officer for the ACT Rudi Lammers — a White Ribbon  Ambassador — said that “supporting the efforts of the White Ribbon Foundation through the Men in Uniform partnership is an important community engagement, delivering a clear message that police will not tolerate family violence, and nor should the community.”

“Stand up, speak out, and break the cycle of family violence - that’s our message to the community,” Assistant Commissioner Lammers said.

“As first responders to family violence incidents, we see the effects of violence against women on families. But this is not just a police problem, it’s a whole-of-community problem.” 

“While it’s encouraging to see that reports of family violence incidents to police have increased in the 2012-13 financial year, we want to encourage more people to pick up the phone and call police up if they know someone who might be suffering family violence.”

ACT Policing is urging the community to attend one of its Men in Uniform stalls from 10am-2pm tomorrow (November 22) and donate to the White Ribbon Foundation by purchasing merchandise and swearing the oath never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women.

Last year’s Men in Uniform stalls raised more than $30 000 for the cause.

The Men in Uniform stalls will be located at the five major shopping centres across Canberra including Westfield Woden and Belconnen, Tuggeranong Hyperdome, Canberra Centre and Gungahlin Marketplace, along with the three Bunnings’ stores in Belconnen, Fyshwick and Tuggeranong and the Dickson shops.

Personal message from Sharon Bell can be viewed here.