Dirty laundry aims to clean up domestic violence
SOCIAL Futures and partners launched the annual Dirty Laundry Day project in 120 shop windows around Lismore, Casino and Kyogle.
As in previous years, the campaign coincides with White Ribbon Day on November 25, and the global United Nations' 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, which runs until December 10.
Social Furtures' Niki Gill who founded the project nine years ago, said more than 40 women have died this year due to domestic violence.
"Already this year, 43 Australian women have died at the hands of their partner," she said.
"We know that 80 per cent of domestic and family violence goes unreported, so those deaths are just the tip of the iceberg."
Ms Gill said by displaying t-shirts with messages from community members who have experienced domestic violence, Dirty Laundry Day gives an opportunity for their voices to be heard.
"We want to promote discussion of what is often considered a shameful and private subject," she said.
"This year, Social Futures has secured partners to run workshops with survivors, provide materials and help to spread the word."
Lismore City Council will hang a campaign banner across Uralba St and Vinnies Lismore donated 100 t-shirts for workshops.
Ms Gill said the message is simple.
"Domestic and family violence is never OK," she said.
"It's up to each and every one of us to help create the change we want to see."
A new DIY campaign kit was developed so organisations could run their own events and Centrelink Lismore, Women Up North, Brighter Futures (Casino) and the Kyogle Family Support Services Inc. have all held sessions with participants and clients.
Women and children experiencing domestic and family violence are also prevalent in some of our programs, with more than one in three participants affected.
This is not unusual in regional areas where, according to the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, more incidents of domestic violence are reported per capita than in metropolitan centres.
Social Futures Manager of the Far North Coast Family Referral Service, Patrick Deegan, said Richmond Valley and Coffs Harbour are another two hotspots on the North Coast.
"Of the 155 LGAs in New South Wales, the 25 where domestic violence is most prevalent are in rural and regional areas."
More information about the campaign can be found at socialfutures.org.au