ROTARY AND COMMUNITY GROUPS LAUNCH "TOGETHER AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE" PLAN
Three key initiatives have been identified as part of the western suburbs Rotary Clubs’ “Together Against Domestic Violence” project.
Kenmore Rotary President, Dr. Martin Grabert has provided an update on the initiative aimed at helping local survivors of domestic violence.
Dr. Grabert commended the combined efforts of Ashgrove/The Gap, Toowong, Brookfield and Karana Downs Rotary Clubs in working with Kenmore to address domestic violence.
He said the Clubs had identified and would pursue three avenues of assistance:
1. Support in an emergency situation
Karana Downs Rotary Club will provide Emergency Packs for family members forced to leave their home at very short notice. Often, they are forced to leave with just the clothes they are wearing. The packs will provide survivors with essentials such as toothbrushes, towels and a change of clothing. For children, a cuddly soft toy is provided. These will be supplied to Police stations in Karana Downs and Indooroopilly, as they are often first responders, to distribute as they see fit.
2. Infrastructure support
The local Rotary Clubs will provide substantial funds to D.V Connect enabling them to upgrade their telephone system, reducing the response time which will actually save lives. Their $15,000 contribution will be matched by a grant from Rotary District 9600, enabling the upgrade to be implemented in the coming weeks.
The public is also encouraged to support “Friends with Dignity”, a volunteer based not-for-profit registered charity that provides practical programs to assist survivors of domestic violence in collaboration with refuge and crisis centres. All donations go directly to supporting survivors of domestic violence to rebuild their lives and their dignity. Support can be through gift cards, cash, as well as furniture including electrical appliances.
3. Educational support
Together with the Scripture Union, Kenmore Rotary will sponsor School Councilors (“Chappies”) to attend a training course designed to give them the skills to identify the early warning signs of domestic violence displayed in children and young adults. The first pilot training session will be offered on 18 June 2020 with a follow-up assessment to determine the effectiveness of the program and to improve further training.
The western suburbs Rotary Clubs have also committed to financially support “Reason to Thrive” which offers dedicated programs in support of domestic violence survivors to re-gain their self-confidence through Equine Assisted Learning. This has proven to produce very positive effects for survivors and families starting a new life.
They will also support “Broken to Brilliant”, a charity that works with survivors after the initial crisis and immediate resettlement time. “Broken to Brilliant’s” goal is to reduce the long-term impact of domestic violence by increasing financial independence, decreasing distress, increasing opportunities through education, life-skills training, and social support networks. During their journey of recovery, “Broken to Brilliant” empowers survivors to build a new chapter in their lives through writing and the publication of their stories.
Dr Grabert said he was pleased with the progress and joint efforts of the Rotary Clubs’ “cluster group”, Government agencies, together with key stakeholders and the community, in tackling domestic violence.
“The alarming and increasing statistics globally, nationally and within our community is of major concern. In particular, with COVID-19 restrictions in place, Domestic Violence seems to be soaring.
“As a humanitarian organisation, Rotary can play an important role in helping to end domestic violence. ‘Together against Domestic Violence’ is a motto that Rotary is looking to adopt nationwide,” he added.
Dr Grabert said with COVID19 restrictions slowly easing, the time was right to present the “Joint Action Plan” for survivors and their children, so that they may lead a future life without oppression.
To contribute to the ongoing debate, a video with statements by the five Rotary Clubs and the sponsored organisations has been produced. Please check the Kenmore Rotary website https://www.rotarykenmore.org/domestic-violence-initiative and the Club’s Facebook page.
12th June 2020