Lismore community unites against violence
For the first time, Lismore business, community and council leaders will gather to send a strong, combined message - violence is not welcome in Lismore - when they take part in Social Futures' Dirty Laundry Day Project.
The Dirty Laundry Day Project takes one of societies most untouched and un-talked of topics to the streets with an exhibition of t-shirts painted with messages by people who have experienced domestic and family violence.
The t-shirts hang next to posters and information to spread awareness and to send a strong message that violence is not tolerated in our communities and help is available to those experiencing violence.
Creating the t-shirts gives a voice to people who so often suffer in silence. It is also encouraging for those people experiencing violence to know that there community is supportive and won't tolerate violence.
Social Futures CEO Tony Davies says, "The messages painted onto the shirts tell the stories of local women, young people and also men who have been brave enough to share their message, to raise awareness about violence and to let others know they are not alone."
"During the past 9 years, more than 500 t-shirts have been created and designed by someone who wanted to tell their story. That is a lot of stories about violence and abuse in our region. But as a community we can do something about it, and bringing light and awareness to this issue is the first step," Mr Davies said.
"This year we have invited representatives from business, community services, the police, education and other community members to come together in a unified stance against violence."
"Domestic and family violence in Australia is a terrible and widespread problem. Sadly, our own community is not exempt. Just last week a woman in Tweed Heads was murdered at the hands of her partner, and the figures on gender-based violence in our country are grim" said Mr Davies.
- On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner
- 1 in 3 Australian women have experienced physical violence since the age of 15
- 1 in 5 Australian women has experienced sexual violence
- Up to 80% of women who have experienced intimate partner violence or sexual assault did not report it to the police.
Social Futures Executive Manager, Anita Mansfield says the whole community can play a role in looking out for each other.
"We are so thrilled with the response from our business and community leaders wanting to take part and helping to raise awareness about what is still a far too common issue for our communities" says Social Futures Executive Manager, Anita Mansfield.
Opening the event will be Uncle Roy Gordon reading a poem about violence in Bundjalung language. Also speaking at the event, is local business woman Busara O'Reilly who will speak about her own experience with family violence and the importance of a community response to violence.
The Dirty Laundry Day T-shirts will be placed in shops and businesses throughout Lismore, Kyogle and Casino for the week beginning 23 November, which is White Ribbon Day.
WHAT: Lismore leaders paint t-shirts for Dirty Laundry Day Project
WHEN: 10:30am Wednesday 21 November
WHERE: In front of the Northern Rivers Conservatorium, 152 Keen Street Lismore