Why is family violence happening?

10 October 2015

Why is it ok for family violence to happen? That’s the question that composers and musicians Christina Green and Dr Kathleen McGuire are attempting to answer as they prepare for No Excuses! a major event auspiced by the Choir of Hard Knocks, which is being held as part of the Big West Festival in November.

Christina is a music therapist working in the recreation program at McAuley House. She is composing a song suite, alongside Dr McGuire, which will be performed by women singers and instrumentalist on 20 and 21 November.

“No Excuses” focuses upon family violence and domestic abuse, with real stories of struggle and inspirational resilience as shared by women connected with Melbourne’s western suburbs. 

Christina and Kathleen hope that the performance of the suite at the Big West Festival, which has been funded by a grant from Creative Victoria, will leave audiences empowered by solidarity and hope. 

Christina has been drawing inspiration for her compositions from women currently living at McAuley House.

“I sent a request out and immediately had two women who were willing to share some of their stories with me,” she said.

“The result is passionate, emotional realism about the effect of family violence and abuse on women.”

“It is a complete honour to create songs from such stories - it is like a sacred task. I have written a lot of story songs, often focusing on stories of courage and of activism, and this project has the immediacy of working with women who are living at McAuley House,” Christina said.

No Excuses! had its first rehearsal recently, with around 40 women, including the McAuley Women’s Choir, taking part.

“We were blown away by the enthusiasm,” Christina said. “It is going to be a wonderful experience for all of us.”