Bribie Island near the Bongaree Jetty will be one of Moreton Bay Region’s to launch the Red Bench over the coming months as part of a state wide initiative to raise awareness of domestic violence and elder abuse.
Hairdressers with Heart, a not-for-profit organisation founded to address domestic violence issues, has worked closely with local member for Division 1, Cr Brooke Savige to advocate a red painted park bench to be located near the Bongaree jetty.
Cr Savige said the Bribie Red Bench will be fully funded by the Moreton Bay Regional Council as part of a wider plan to roll out one Red Bench across each of the region’s divisions to coincide with Domestic Violence Week in May.
Cr Savige has welcomed the Red Bench initiative, which will also include the installation of plaques on all benches to further reinforce the message that domestic violence of any type will not be tolerated.
“One woman every week is dying from domestic violence. Instances of elder abuse are on the rise,” Cr Savige said.
“Our young people and our families are experiencing domestic and family violence at an alarming rate.
“But these are not statistics, these are not just numbers, these are people. These are someone’s mother, father, sister, brother, son or daughter. Which is why the Red Bench initiative is so important to me.”
Cr Savige said the initiative would enable the community to acknowledge and act on the abuse of some of our most vulnerable.
“Together the Bribie Island community can take a stand against domestic violence, family violence and elder abuse.
“As a society we are making progress but there is more to be done.”
Cr Savige acknowledged the tireless efforts of Hairdressers with Heart founder Sonia Colvin, administration director Adrienne Logan and their entire team.
“This is a vital movement started here on Bribie Island to provide resources for our community and support for those in our community who are experiencing domestic and family violence or elder abuse,” Cr Savige said.
Launched state wide by the Red Rose Foundation and advocated locally by Hairdressers with Heart, the initiative will soon mark a powerful presence of red benches in parks around the country.
“The benches will serve as a permanent reminder of the existence of domestic violence in our communities and will inspire conversation about this significant social issue,” Ms Colvin said.
“If it helps one person suffering domestic violence or elder abuse, then it is worth it.
“It’s about starting a conversation and hairdressers are often at the frontline of those conversations. It’s about taking the shame away with domestic violence and elder abuse.”
With the colour red having a universal meaning of ‘Stop’, the Red Bench project is expected to have far reaching, positive impacts in the community.
“The Red Bench will serve as a permanent reminder that abuse is not okay under any circumstances,” Ms Colvin said.
Since its inception in 2012, Hairdressers with Hearts has set the goal of empowering the country’s 55,000 plus hairdressers and barbers with the support, training and resources to assist communities’ capacities to address the issues of domestic violence and elder abuse.
“It is so important that domestic violence and elder abuse victims feel comfortable enough to be able to reach out and take that first step in getting help,” Ms Colvin said.
Further information on the Hairdressers with Heart movement can be found at www.hairdresserswithheart.com.au