Se­bas­tians give gift of car­ols

Sunday Tasmanian - - News - KATHY McCABE

WHEN Guy and Jules Se­bas­tian are watch­ing thou­sands of happy fam­i­lies singing along at their an­nual Car­ols in the Cres­cent, they also will be think­ing about the do­mes­tic vi­o­lence vic­tims who can’t af­ford Christ­mas presents.

The Se­bas­tian Foun­da­tion will stage the free car­ols con­cert in Syd­ney to sup­port shel­ters and pro­grams for women who have fled abu­sive part­ners.

For five years the Se­bas­tians have raised funds and en­gaged vol­un­teers to ren­o­vate shel­ters and back pro­grams which as­sist vic­tims with le­gal ad­vice, food and em­ploy­ment op­tions.

Jules last week was in a Bondi park with sons Hud­son and Archer and be­gan chat­ting with a grand­mother who pointed out a woman and her chil­dren nearby.

“She started telling me how her daugh­ter and the chil­dren had to move in with her be­cause her cor­po­rate ex­ec­u­tive hus­band has been abus­ing her,” she said.

“Do­mes­tic vi­o­lence does not dis­crim­i­nate. It is hap­pen­ing ev­ery­where around us.”

Guy said not only was it im­per­a­tive vic­tims had ac­cess to shel­ters but also to fi­nan­cial sup­port, par­tic­u­larly at this time of the year when abusers use money to emo­tion­ally black­mail part­ners.

“A lot of the pro­grams we have helped fund through the foun­da­tion help to get women back in the work­force,” he said.

Pic­ture: JONATHAN NG

SUP­PORT: Guy and Jules Se­bas­tian ahead of their an­nual Car­ols in the Cres­cent.

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