Saved by the Belles


Weekend Courier - - Front Page - Gabrielle Jef­fery

A GROUP of Bal­divis women is of­fer­ing much-needed sup­port for vic­tims of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

Do­mes­tic vi­o­lence can dev­as­tate its vic­tims, of­ten leav­ing them feel­ing worth­less in ev­ery sense of the word.

So CWA Bal­divis Belles has cre­ated Women’s Refuge Starter Kits, made up of ba­sic home items that many would never con­sider a ne­ces­sity un­til faced with a sit­u­a­tion that leaves them with noth­ing.

Bal­divis Belles pres­i­dent Linda Tam­men said do­mes­tic vi­o­lence rates were in­creas­ing, in­clud­ing in Bal­divis, but the area was­mu­ni­ d471471 renowned for its com­mu­nity spirit.

“With the preva­lence of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, we wanted to do a project to help the Lucy Saw Cen­tre,” she said.

“After con­sult­ing with them, we cre­ated the kits that peo­ple flee­ing a vi­o­lent sit­u­a­tion just don’t have time to think about.”

The kits con­tain kitchen items such as a kettle, toaster, crock­ery, cut­lery and other house­hold items. A list of items is on the Bal­divis Belles Face­book page and peo­ple can chose to pur­chase as many items on it as they wish to help the group reach its goal of 10 kits for the refuge.

Item drop-off is at Wil­low Tree Re­alty in Bal­divis.

“They cost $150 each and have good qual­ity, yet cheap items in them so we can make as many kits as pos­si­ble,” Ms Tam­men said. “(K-mart) have been fan­tas­tic, do­nat­ing an en­tire kit, along with Reece Whitby who has also do­nated an en­tire kit.”

Mr Whitby, the Bal­divis MLA, said eco­nomic pres­sures in the re­gion were a con­tribut­ing fac­tor to the prob­lem.

“There are many with­out jobs; these eco­nomic pres­sures are adding to the rise of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in­ci­dents in the area,” he said. “Peo­ple are forced to flee these sit­u­a­tions with noth­ing.

“The last thing they are think­ing is ‘where is my spat­ula, where’s my kettle?’.

“They are such small items yet it just makes a huge dif­fer­ence to be able to have these things when you need to start again.”

Ms Tam­men said they chose new items over old as it was about send­ing a strong, sup­port­ive mes­sage.

“These fam­i­lies have been through trauma that is so de­mor­al­is­ing we want them to feel that they are worth it, ” she said.“ NEWS

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son

Jenny Gandy, Joanne Hart, Chan­tal Pringle, Lisa Atkins, K-mart Bal­divis man­ager David Lan­gan, Kristy May, MLA Reece Whitby and Bal­divis Belles pres­i­dent Linda Tam­men.

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