A note on this post: this journal will discuss topics of family violence and sexual assault. While these discussions are critical to have, they can also be difficult and we would encourage you to care for your well-being while reading.
As we near the end of our campaign with the Dangerous Females team, I wanted to share some more details about the women behind this terrific initiative, our collaboration together and the chosen charities that the funds from this will be directly distributed to - WRISC Family Violence Support Service and inTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence.
Who are the Dangerous Females?
The founders of DF are three women who were fed up with incidents of violence against women. Their mission is to support victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. As women and mothers themselves, it is important to them that women in situations of domestic violence and women that have been sexually assaulted are able to access the support they need as they believe these services are severely underfunded in our society. Last year alone, they raised over $100,000 and they continue to spread their message daily across their platforms and provide hope for women in difficult situations.
How does it work?
Dangerous Females work with brands, including our own, who support their mission and create limited edition designs that have a beautiful meaning behind them - from mugs, t-shirts, jumpers and even a kids range too.
"We have such a great community, and being involved with so many great artists and designers has really helped grow the charity. Everyone involved with Dangerous Females has always participated voluntarily – make up, photography, graphic design – which means we are able to donate more to services. We never know what’s coming around the corner but we’re looking forward to it!"
*ALL* of the money raised, goes towards two selected charities for each campaign. These campaigns run for six months in total and two new carefully selected charities are chosen to support throughout the six month tenure.
Images via Aimee Cat
Why did we collaborate with Dangerous Females?
Sadly, not a week goes by that we don't hear another news report of a woman losing her life to domestic violence. With each story, you can almost feel a collective stomach drop as we grapple with why this keeps happening. I often stare back at the tv and invariably see a woman that looks much like me - kind, strong, happy - and it's hard to fathom that she, like so many others, experiences such severe danger within everyday life.
Below are some heartbreaking statistics about domestic violence in Australia via Give Now:
- At least one woman a week is killed by a man she knows in Australia
- One in three women experience abuse at the hands of an intimate partner
- One in four women have experienced sexual abuse in Australia
We know these are not easy topics to discuss but raising more awareness around this subject is so important. When the Dangerous Females team asked us to be involved in a collab, we were so honoured and are immensely grateful that we were able to be part of their movement. A huge thank you to everyone who has supported this collab.
Image via Aimee Catt
Which charity partners were chosen for our collab?
For those who have purchased from our recent campaign with Dangerous Females or those wanting to learn more about partner charities, we wanted to shed light on who they are (WRISC and inTouch), what they do exactly and how your donation will positively make a change. Please find out more below.
1. Can you please tell us about the story of WRISC - how you came to exist and what your mission is?
WRISC is over 30 years old and came together by a group of women to support other women who were experiencing Family Violence. It started off in a small house as an information and resource centre and has gradually grown over time, so that now we have 3 programs: outreach and case management, creative therapies and an Aboriginal Program. We also offer groups in all these areas. Our vision is: safety, equality and opportunity for all people. Our values are: innovation, integrity, respect and trust and works from a feminist perspective and our mission is: to promote respectful relationships through services which enhance the safety, autonomy and well-being of women and children.
2. The pandemic has been challenging in many ways - factors such as job loss and extensive time spent at home has been difficult for many families. Have restrictions changed the way you provide your services for the community and has it been challenging?
We have had to pivot our service provision to being online through phone calls, teams and zoom meetings. We had to develop a whole set of protocols to be able to do this safely and gradually we have become more confident doing this. We also had to work from home and this meant working out our boundaries of how and where we work as our homes were also our offices. We also had to update our IT equipment and phones so that they were reliable tools to be able to carry out our work. As a work place, the ability now to pivot at short notice and in response to lock downs at short notice has been a very valuable learning experience. We have also been able to have whole staff team meetings on line – and whilst they are different, it means there is less travel and more people are able to attend more often. Everyone also relishes the times when we can be together face to face and enjoys catching up with people – I think how we communicate has become more varied and on the whole improved. It has been a difficult journey for all staff to navigate the uncertainty and the change as is expected, but I feel there has been an extraordinary amount of resilience displayed. For our clients, lock downs mean that they are inside with the perpetrator more often and this can mean they are at greater risk.
3. What are some of the biggest misconceptions we might have around family violence and what is one (anonymous) example of a time you felt you really made a positive change to someones life? (To provide hope for anyone reading this journal who might be in a vulnerable & dangerous position).
I think the biggest misconception is that people think it is easy for a women to ‘just leave’…but this is actually the most dangerous time for a women and her children and is often why women don’t ‘just leave’. Perpetrators use fear and threats and abuse their power and control to prevent the women from leaving and often if she does, this heightens the risk to herself and the lives of her children. Our job is to support and work with women who have made a decision to leave due to family violence. This means making a safety plan and risk assessment, and putting many things in place to reduce the risk to our clients and their families. We also work collaboratively with many other agencies in the Central Highlands region of Victoria. If family violence is happening in your family, then it is best to seek expert help and support and know that you can access services that specialise in supporting women who are victims of family violence. Calling 1800 respect is also another way or calling 000 for police support.
4. Other than purchasing a Dangerous Females Tee, how can people further support your organisation?
We have a very informative website: www.wrisc.org.au where you can find out about who we are and what we do. We also accept donations through the website and also encourage people to set up a regular donation arrangement.
I would very much like to take this opportunity to thank-you for your support of WRISC and our work. Addressing Family Violence is a whole community task and takes a multi-layered and multi-pronged approach where everyone is responsible for providing a community where everyone feels safe and respected. Your support of WRISC helps us to make a difference within our sphere of influence and for this we are extremely thankful.
Can you please tell us about the story of inTouch - how you came to exist and what your mission is?
We officially became inTouch in 2010 - we have a rich history which is grounded within the family violence and multicultural sectors - previous to being InTouch, we were the Refuge Ethnic Worker’s Program and Immigrant Women’s Domestic Violence Services. inTouch provides integrated, culturally responsive services to migrant and refugee communities. Over the past 37 years, we have addressed the specific needs of multicultural communities and helped over 20,000 women experiencing family violence. In the 2019-20 financial year, inTouch provided services to 1311 women from 98 different countries, and 1277 of their children. We have become a critical piece in Victoria’s family violence response system. In 2016, the Royal Commission into Family Violence in Victoria recommended that the government fund inTouch to better support the sector in meeting the needs of individuals from refugee and migrant backgrounds experiencing family violence. The reach and impact of inTouch’s work has significantly increased due to this support. inTouch works across the family violence continuum, from prevention and early intervention, to crisis intervention, post-crisis support and recovery.
In what ways (resources, services, support) does your service help those in need?
Our services and programs include:
- An integrated, culturally responsive model based on inLanguage, inCulture case management. Our culturally diverse case managers offer direct client services in over 25 languages. They have a unique understanding of a client’s lived migration experience, cultural influences, and the barriers they face when trying to seek help.
- An in-house accredited community legal centre, the only one of its kind in a specialist family violence service, which provides legal advice, court advocacy and immigration support to inTouch clients.
- Capacity building of specialist and non-specialist family violence providers and community organisations to better deliver support to refugee and migrant women experiencing family violence. This includes a public training calendar.
- An early intervention program, Motivation for Change, working directly with men from culturally and linguistically diverse communities who use violence towards their families.
- A recovery program, inSpire, helping women and children to rebuild their lives after experiencing family violence.
- A victim-survivor advisory group called Inspire for Change, comprised of former inTouch clients, who guide and inform many of our programs, policy and initiatives, as well as advocating for sector-wide improvements.
Are you able to share a story (anonymously) of a time where your organisation was really able to help someone struggling? An outcome you are really proud of?
During COVID last year, our inSpire program pivoted to providing emergency food relief. 235 women and children were supported through 694 regular deliveries. inTouch staff and members of the community volunteered 1,266 hours of their time to support weekly deliveries and welfare checks. 1,388 weeks’ worth of culturally appropriate food distributed along with translated health information and 500+ reusable face masks.
4. Other than purchasing a Dangerous Females Tee, how can people further support your organisation?
You can donate to our inSpire initiative, a critical and unique program that provides support to women from migrant and refugee backgrounds who are recovering from family violence. inTouch’s case managers do an incredible job supporting women who are experiencing family violence, and ensuring the safety of the women that we work with. The team at inSpire focuses on what happens next – how we can support a woman to build a life she chooses, to connect with others safely and meaningfully - to take her future into her own hands.You can help a woman become job ready, strengthen bonds with her children and keep her engaged and supported by her community and culture. Read more about it here.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to everyone who has supported our campaign with Dangerous Females. We encourage you to share their wonderful initiative and, in turn, help their mission to spread awareness on this topic and continue raising funds.
Please find a list of resources below provided by the Dangerous Females team for anyone that may need need it:
1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) - This is a 24-hour national sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling line for any Australian who has experienced, or is at risk of, family and domestic violence and/or sexual assault. There is also the ‘Daisy’ app – which can provide information on services in your local area. This app allows you to view websites within the app so they don’t show up on your browser history.
With a whole lotta' love x