South West come together to mourn 11-year old Annaliesse
More than 100 people attended a vigil in Bunbury on Sunday for much loved 11-year-old Annaliesse Ugle.
Her extended family in the South West were overwhelmed by the support and her uncle, Phillip Ugle, said the vigil showed just how much people cared about her.
“The support has been overwhelming and it’s nice to know there is a lot of people out there that are willing to support us through this hard time,” he said.
The smoking ceremony at the vigil was an opportunity for attendees to pay respect to Annaliesse.
“It is a way to send our love onto her. To go back to country, she is going to be coming home,” Mr Ugle said.
Annaliesse took her own life just weeks after a man charged with sexually assaulting her was released on bail.
Mr Ugle remembered his niece as a happy girl who was always smiling.
“The last week has been hell, we had to watch a little 11-year-old girl slip away from us,” Mr Ugle said.
Mr Ugle said he loved and protected Annaliesse as if she were his own and urged parents to listen when their children spoke out when needing help.
“I hope this encourages parents to help their children understand it’s OK to approach them and say if anything is happening,” he said.
Multiple people came forward to address the vigil and advocated for people who were experiencing abuse to “raise their voice”.
“We must not forget them, we must stand up,” one person said. “This is the end of not speaking up.”
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