Today is White Ribbon Day. It is a day for difficult conversations. A day to talk about domestic and family violence, which is sadly inherent in our communities. We know that this kind of violence thrives in secrecy, so it is important to shed a light on it. To remove stigma and shame. To talk openly.
The Dirty Laundry Day Project first began in Casino NSW in 2009 and has been run in The Northern Rivers annually since.
The project was created to draw attention to Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) in the community, to give people experiencing abuse and violence a voice, and to take a strong community stance against violence. The name comes from the opportunity for people to air their dirty laundry – removing stigma and opening conversations in our communities.
A series of workshops are held with survivors of DFV which allow them a creative and cathartic opportunity to share their experience by painting messages on T-shirts. Those T-shits are then displayed in public spaces with information and details for seeking help and assistance, to bring light to a topic we don’t talk about enough.
“For many survivors, even those closest to them don’t know about their experience because DFV is often hidden and flourishes in silence” said Social Futures CEO Tony Davies.
“The workshops are a safe way for people to express their feelings anonymously in a supported environment. Speaking out about their experiences is a very powerful way to reclaim their voice and regain an aspect of control”, Mr Davies said.
As the COVID-19 pandemic increases the pressure on families and relationships, in addition to winding back the supportive payments of Jobseeker and Jobkeeper, it is more important than ever to have conversations about domestic and family violence, and to refer people at risk of violence or at risk of offending, to the support they need.
As Brad Chilcott, Executive Director of White Ribbon Australia said, “a national conversation around gendered violence must become a personal campaign for change in the lives of all Australians.” It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to stand up and address domestic and family violence in our communities.
This year, The Dirty Laundry Day Project is being displayed in Queensland for the first time in locations throughout Brisbane, in partnership with Adderton: House and Heart of Mercy.
It is also being displayed across the Northern Rivers from Coolangatta to Grafton in partnership with Summerland Credit Union, and in Coffs Harbour in partnership with Warrina Womens Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Services.
Show your support
You can show your support to stop violence in our community by donating to our White Ribbon fundraiser: https://bit.ly/2UvBABa
Or by donating direct to the Dirty Laundry Day Project via our website here: https://dirtylaundryday.org/
Watch our film clip
View our film clip with Social Futures CEO, Tony Davies and Summerland Credit Union CEO, John Williams here: https://bit.ly/2UJ6QwI
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic or family violence, there is help available. We urge you to seek support.
Call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or Mensline on 1800 600 636. In an emergency call 000.