Taking a stand against domestic violence
Park benches across Charleville and Cunnamulla have been painted red to encourage people to take a stand against domestic violence.

The Red Bench project in Charleville and Cunnamulla is a collaboration between the partners in the South West Hospital and Health Service-hosted HOPE Program, the Red Rose Foundation, Lifeline, Far West Indigenous Family Violence Service and RAPAD Employment Services Queensland.

HOPE Program Community Program Officer Jenny Peacock said the Red Rose Foundation had launched the Red Bench project nationally to provide a reminder that domestic violence occurred within all communities.

“The presence of a Red Bench in a public location aims to raise awareness of this important issue, as well as making it visible to all,’’ Ms Peacock said.

“We hope the red benches will encourage people impacted by domestic violence to reach out and start a conversation.”

“There are times when people do not feel comfortable to have this conversation in an office. What we are hoping and supporting our community to do is to have the conversation, anywhere that is comfortable for the person.’’

Red Rose Foundation Chief Executive Officer Betty Taylor said she commended the Charleville and Cunnamulla communities and local councils for taking the issue seriously and joining in the Red Bench awareness program.

“We need to take a stand together to let everyone know that domestic violence will not be tolerated,’’ she said.

HOPE – which stands for Harmony, Opportunity, Pride and Empowerment – is a State Government and community-driven program.

The program is part of South West HHS and works closely with the Cunnamulla Aboriginal Corporation for Health, the Charleville and Western Areas Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Community Health, the Paroo and Murweh shire councils, local schools and police to increase education, training and employment outcomes for young people up to 25 years of age.

The HOPE Program works with the communities of Charleville and Cunnamulla to provide locally tailored services and initiatives that support their young people to lead healthy lifestyles and reach their full potential.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, family or domestic violence, call Lifeline on 1300 991 443 or Cunnamulla Aboriginal Corporation for
Health on (07) 4655 8815. In an emergency, always call 000.

For more information about the Red Rose Foundation, visit: http://www.redrosefoundation.com.au/ 

Red Bench

South West Hospital and Health Service Primary and Community Care Service Director Rebecca Greenway – left –and HOPE Program Community Program Officer Jenny Peacock on one of three red-painted benches in Charleville.