International Women Human Rights Defenders Day
Grampians Community Health is calling on all people and organisations in the community to join with them in recognising the role of female family violence workers on the 29th of November, the International Women Human Rights Defenders Day.
Grampians Community Health CEO, Mr Greg Little, said that too frequently the women who worked in supporting victims of family violence are either not recognised for the important function they provide, or vilified by perpetrators or uninformed people as the bad guys.
“The Homelessness and Family Violence team at Grampians Community Health is an incredibly dedicated and proud group who are there for the people in our community who are impacted by family violence. This however also creates a heavy burden on them as they are also part of the community” said Mr Little.
“The women in our team still need to be part of society, they need to relax, spend time with their families, shop, go out like everyone else, but this can sometimes be daunting when they know the person walking towards them or serving them in a shop may also be a perpetrator of family violence” Mr Little added.
International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, held annually on November 29th is an international campaign launched in 2004 for the recognition and protection of women human rights defenders who are advocating for the realisation of all human rights for all people. Because of who they are and the nature of their work, women human rights defenders face significant violations and abuses.
In Victoria, family violence is well recognised for the impact it has on families in our community, and 75% of family violence is perpetrated by men towards women. Grampians Community Health believes that November 29th, the International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, is a worthy day for recognition in Victoria, and have today released a YouTube clip highlighting the challenges faced by family violence workers [https://youtu.be/5AqqOMTHlvM]
Mr Little said “Attracting and retaining staff to work in the field of family violence in rural Victoria is difficult when they don’t always feel valued in the community.”
“Grampians Community Health is only one organisation, hopefully other domestic violence services, community organisations, government and the communities we serve will join us on the 29th of November in the years to come in celebrating the role family violence workers provide” said Mr Little.
If you would like more information about Family Violence Support please call us on 03 5358 7400
The ‘Rainbow Project’
Juno Vesta a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTIQA+) Youth led group, is working towards making Stawell a safer community for LGBTIQA+ people.
With the support of the Grampians Community Health, Northern Grampians Shire and the Central Grampians LLEN the group approached local Stawell Businesses to display a small rainbow flag in their windows, symbolising a safe place for LGBTI people to shop, eat and relax.
The members stated the project made them feel at home and accepted. A Juno Vesta member stated “some businesses were quite enthusiastic about the project which made me feel very happy.” Juno Vesta believes the Rainbow Project has been a great conversation starter for the community and the involvement with the Northern Grampians Shire was crucial. The Northern Grampians Shire supported Juno Vesta with the Rainbow Project and encouraged businesses to be involved by placing their logo on the support letter which showed their commitment to making Stawell a safe community.
Juno Vesta would like to implement this project in other towns including Ararat in the near future. Juno Vesta is encouraging businesses and community groups to join in with the Rainbow project and place a rainbow flag on their window front.
The Rainbow Project will make other LGBTIQA+ people feel safer in the community. New reports suggest that nearly 30% of young people are now identifying as LGBTIQA+. Young people aged 16 to 24 years are most likely to hide their sexuality or gender identity. They reported experiencing: Verbal homophobic abuse 61 %, Physical homophobic abuse 18% and other types of homophobia 9%
“We understand there is a lot more work that needs to be done, but to see a youth led project making such a difference is incredible” Said Gemma Beavis, chair of the Rainbow committee at GCH.
Juno Vesta is supported by Grampians Community Health and the Central Grampians LLEN.
If you are aged between 12 and 25 and are interested in joining Juno Vesta, please contact Gemma on 52587400.
The Stawell group meets every Monday afternoon at the Grampians Community Health building, 8-22 Patrick Street, from 4pm.